Archive for July, 2013

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Pastor Mauro and his family and friends

Dawn, Dave and David Jr. with Pastor Mauro and his family and friends

David Jr., Dawn and I had a wonderful Sunday afternoon with our friends at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Mariano, Tijuana. One of our friends from Harbor, Matt Dolstein was also able to join us.

Pastor Mauro Lopez, who leads the church has become a great partner in ministry. We’ve enjoyed getting to know him, his family and those that are part of the church he leads.

We Pray that God’s Spirit will Touch the People

Today (Sunday) I preached at the church. I love being able to encourage the people. This church has  been going through some tough times. I felt as I shared with them today that they needed the Lord to meet them in a special way. David, Dawn and I prayed that God would lead me as I preached, and touch the people.

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo

Several years ago I read that right before Charles Spurgeon would preach he would repeat to himself, “I believe in the Holy Ghost, I believe in the Holy Ghost, I believe in the Holy Ghost.” I keep that in mind and make it my prayer before I preach. This prayer is a cry to the Lord to minister through me and his Word, and also a reminder that I am dependent on the Holy Spirit to touch others.

Our Source of Power

A friend of mine sent me an article this week that warned of ministers today forgetting to rely on the Holy Spirit as they minister. The author brought up some valid concerns.

Here’s an excerpt from Rev. Al Baker’s article:

My brethren, we are in desperate straits in the Evangelical and Reformed world. The church is generally impotent, tame, and woefully lacking in effecting the culture in which we live. I urge you to read the Scriptures afresh and anew, looking at, believing in the ministry of the Spirit. See how many times in the Book of Acts the Spirit is mentioned. I urge you to read Calvin’s Institutes, John Owen’s work on the Holy Spirit, Revival by Lloyd-Jones, and Scotland Saw His Glory by Richard Owen Roberts as a cursory study of the issue. And then let us pray, seeking God until we find Him.

He finishes the article with these penetrating questions, Are we given to unbelief? Do we doubt the power, efficacy, and immediacy of the Spirit? If so, may we repent and believe.

Our Prayer, Our Need

My prayer is that we will believe in the power, efficacy and immediacy of the Spirit, and that we will see the power of the Spirit break forth as we seek and serve the Lord on the border.

The Lord has been teaching Dawn and me more about his desire for the gospel to penetrate deeply into our lives. Luther, who God used to spearhead the reformation, stated that “we need to beat the gospel into our heads.” He also said, “all of life is repentance.” Good reminders! For some reason we forget the power that gospel has to change our lives as well as the lives of other.

Look to Jesus with us, and may we repent and believe.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Humility photo from samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com

Humility photo from samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com

God tells us in his kingdom the last shall be first and the first shall be last (Matt. 20:16). Isn’t that opposite of the way we think things should usually be? I guess, that’s the point, isn’t it?

I’ve been struck lately as I watch God use humble, unassuming people. It’s not that the Lord doesn’t use the well-known, but a great deal of ministry happens in places that seem small. The ministry might be run by someone who at first glance is not very impressive.

Some authors, such as Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great have come to realize one of the characteristics of great companies is that they have humble leaders. Dr. Collins was surprised to find that to be true.

When you think about it, we (the church) shouldn’t be surprised that God uses the humble. Jesus came as a humble servant. His triumphal entry was on a donkey, rather than on a stallion.

God Lifts Up the Humble

James encourages us to be humble, as he quotes from the Proverbs.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.” …Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

James 4:6 & 10 (ESV)

That is quite a nudge to not be proud. If you are proud, then God will oppose you! I don’t think anyone wants that. If the proud understood what they were up against they wouldn’t want God to be their opponent. It’s obvious who’s going to win that one.

Many truths in the Bible are counter-intuitive. They go against the grain of much of what we hear from the culture. I don’t know about you, but I find myself sometimes listening to the wrong voices.

May Our Prayer Be

O Lord, remind me that you look at the heart. Remind me that you honor the humble. Make me a humble man (woman) as I seek you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dawn speaking in front of the women with Martha

Dawn speaking in front of the women with Martha

This past Saturday Dawn had the opportunity to share her story with our friends at Lo Mejor del Trigo in Rojo Gomez. Our friend, Martha Velazquez organized an event for over 100 women. Abraham and Martha are great friends! We’ve grown to love them. Abraham pastors the church, and Martha is very involved in the ministry of the church.

Thanks for Martha’s Encouragement!

When Martha first asked Dawn to speak, she was reluctant to accept the invitation. Dawn felt like Moses, feeling nervous about speaking in front of a large group in Spanish. Martha encouraged Dawn, and since we’ve built a close relationship with Abraham and her Dawn decided to take the plunge.

She was very nervous heading into the event, but we prayed and she shared her story with the women. Dawn’s vulnerability and her journey towards healing in Christ hit home with those at the event. A number of women were moved to tears as Dawn spoke from her heart. Her Spanish just flowed, and she felt like it was a miracle.

Both Abraham and Martha told Dawn later that she did an excellent job, and the event wouldn’t have been the same without her.

Dawn’s Spanish is actually very good, but she felt insecure speaking in her second language in front of a crowd.

All the women enjoying a meal and fellowship

All the women enjoying a meal and fellowship

Martha did a wonderful job pulling together the women’s event. She also spoke and the Lord used her to touch many women that were there.

Praise the Lord with Me!

I praise the Lord for using my wife, Dawn! He is using her brokenness to enable her to minister to others in a deeper way. God has a way of using our brokenness for his glory!

Another exciting outcome of the blessing that came from this Saturday, is that this gives Dawn more confidence moving forward.

We pray that the Lord will continue to bless the church in Rojo Gomez, and our friends involved in the Lo Mejor del Trigo movement.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Ray and Dave with some pastors and  friends for the National Church .

Ray and Dave with some pastors and new friends from the National Church in Mexico

God is on the Move in Baja

I’m blown away by God’s grace and the wonderful doors that the Lord keeps opening up for us. Some of these opportunities are coming from unexpected places.

Dawn and I are experiencing God’s blessing as we continue on this journey with Jesus. Recently, the Lord introduced us to some people and places in Mexico that lift up our spirit.

I don’t want to overstate things. There are some challenges that we face, yet I believe we are to praise God and give thanks to him as he shows us the way.

On Thursday, Ray Call and I met with some pastors in Tijuana. It was the first time I had a chance to meet them. We spent a good amount of time talking about our desire to see churches started in various cities in Baja California. Oh Lord, make it happen! We pray that your church will grow. We pray the your kingdom will expand.

I wrote about one of the new projects we are working on in Baja with a new missionary family and the Mexican church a couple of weeks ago. That was one of the projects we discussed, but there were others.

English: The port of Ensenada, Baja California...

The port of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. One of the places that we are seeing God open doors for us! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lord, Bring the Increase!

Also, God is leading Dawn and me to other ministries in Mexico that we can connect with and partner with to see the our reach not only expand, but to grow deeper. We pray for God’s deep healing work. Oh Lord, that you would transform many lives for your grace and glory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dawn and I accomplished a first on Tuesday. We are in a small village San Antonio de las Minas near Ensenada, Mexico for the first time. The other thing I’m doing for the first time is writing this post using my iPad mini (It’s doable, but a little more challenging!)

Our journey to grow deeper, to learn more about inner healing and to connect with kingdom minded ministries brought us here. This is borne out of a desire to help others and to see God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

While connecting with our new friends here we’ve been discussing and learning about the keys for a transformed life!

One of the things that we talked about last night was our standing before God. Paul refers to those in Christ as sons and daughters of God. Yet we often think of ourselves as slaves.

Our Sonship is at the Heart of the Gospel

It is an amazing thing to realize that we can have such an intimate relationship with God. Romans, Galatians and Ephesians among other books in the New Testament demonstrate that those in Christ are children of God and are part of the family of God.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father! The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:15, 16, ESV)

…to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” so you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:5-7, ESV)

Dawn and Dave are grateful for our grown children - I (Dave) feel privileged that my children call me daddy, at least sometimes ;)

Dawn and Dave are grateful for our grown children – I (Dave) feel privileged that my children call me daddy, at least sometimes 😉

What wonderful promises that God gives us. If we stop and think of the intimate relationship we can have with God it is mind blowing. In both of these passages Paul adresses God as Abba! Father! Like calling God daddy or papi in Spanish.

Do you see the Lord as being close to you? Can you relate to him as your daddy? All my kids call me daddy from time to time. My daughter, Hannah does it the most, and I love it, because it expresses a close and special relationship that we have.

God loves us enough that he is not only our Father, he is our daddy!

Oh, that we would all grow deeper in our love and understanding of the special relationship that we have with God. He is our daddy, and he will protect us and fight our battles. Lean on him. Look to him! Love him!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Joy of Connecting with Like-Minded Friends
Dawn and Dave with Cesar and Kristina, Martha and Abraham - some of the wonderful ministers Dave and Dawn work with.

Dawn and Dave with Cesar and Kristina, Martha and Abraham – some of the wonderful servants Dave and Dawn work with.

As we encourage others God richly blesses us. Wow, thank you Jesus!

This past week Dawn and I had some great conversations with some of the pastors we are coming alongside in Tijuana. We have such a wonderful time encouraging one another and discussing topics related to ministry.

One of the things we try to provide for our friends is a safe place where they can share their heart. An environment where they can discuss questions about theology, their ministries and their personal struggles. There aren’t many places that pastors can go where they don’t feel like they are being scrutinized.

Time just flies by when we are with them.What a joy it is to converse with friends and grow deeper together. Often we spend three hours together and it seems like it was only a short time.

God Blesses Us as We Encourage Others!

It fills our soul!  We pray it will fill up our friends as well. They tell us the time goes by quickly for them as well, so we are thrilled that God can use us in their lives in this way.

Both Dawn and I come away from these encounters humbled. It’s humbling, because we feel privileged to minister to and play a part in the lives of such choice servants of the Lord. We are reminded we need the Lord to give us his wisdom so we give wise counsel to our friends.

I pray that the Lord will give us more ministry connections like these. They are invigorating, and we believe one of the ways God can use all of our life and ministry experience  is to pass on what we’ve learned to others. That means that we too have to be hungry to learn. We need to be committed to life long learning. Also, Dawn and I need to lean hard on the Lord and his leading. As we do so we find that the Lord opens new doors for us!

In His Holy Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Peter and Jenny Boling are in the middle with Dawn and Dave and Yolanda's mom on the left and Sophie (our intern), Yolanda and Daniel  and Camila Nuñez on the right

Peter and Jenny Boling are in the middle with Dawn and Dave and Yolanda’s mom on the left and Sophie (our intern), Yolanda and Daniel and Camila Nuñez on the right in Tijuana

Over the last month I’ve been working with our mission and some of our missionaries, Peter & Jenny Boling to open up what would be a new field for us in lower Baja California.

Peter and Jenny came out to meet us and to get to know our field last month. Dawn and I loved our time with them! It was exciting to dream with them about what could be as they work to see the kingdom expanded in Baja.

I was on the phone today with our Mexico Country Leader, Larry Trotter and one of our key Mexican partners and leaders, Andres Garza. We talked about the importance of setting up this work in the right way, and working through the proper channels.

The Importance of a Firm Foundation

A strong tower needs a firm foundation.

I’ve noticed when a big building goes up that the builders spend a great deal of time building the foundation. At first it appears they are spending a lot of time on the building, and they have nothing to show for it. Then once the foundation is finished the rest of the building goes up relatively quickly by comparison.

I found myself getting impatient while the foundation is being built. We are at that point now. I feel for Peter and Jenny, because they are having to wait for all the loose pieces to come together. They have a family, so it effects schooling and where they will live. I’m somewhat torn, because I want to protect them, and make sure they are healthy and doing well, yet I realize that we can’t just rush ahead with this project.

Praise and Prayer

I’m writing this post today for two reasons. First, I would like you to rejoice with me in the possibility of opening a new field for our ministry, which is huge! Second, I would like you to join us in prayer, that God will see this through. We need prayer for the Lord to come alongside, to spur on and to strengthen the Boling family as they wait. We need wisdom and patience as we work with and talk to all the churches and people involved, so that we do in fact set up a firm foundation.

The Cosmic War for the Church

Satan likes to discourage. He likes to come against the Lord’s church. Pray for the Lord’s protection against the attacks of the evil one.

Jesus promises,

…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

—Matthew 16:18

Jesus is the rock. Jesus is the foundation we build on. His church shall prevail. Hallelujah!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

It hit me last week as I was studying Genesis 26 how God cares for us, even when others neglect us.

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo

Dave preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo

Fear versus Faith

In this chapter in Genesis, “the book of beginnings,” we see Isaac and Rebekah encountering the Philistine king, Abimelech. When asked about his wife, Isaac said she was his sister. Instead of trusting God, and protecting his wife, he chose to act out of fear and choose to protect himself while putting his wife in harm’s way. In the modern vernacular we’d say, Isaac threw Rebekah under the bus.

When the men of the place asked him about his wife, ‘he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My Wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance. —Genesis 26:7

God in his grace protected Rebekah. He does have a way of making up for our faults.

It’s interesting that when Abimelech learned that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife that he rebuked him for not telling the truth. I don’t think it’s a good sign when an unbeliever is confronting us for our sin. In this case Isaac lied, because he was afraid. He failed to believe that God would protect him and his family. He took matters into his own hands.

There are many great lessons from this passage.

God Does Care

God promises to take care of us, we can trust him. Even when things don’t turn out well, we can know that somehow, someway the Lord can and will use it in our lives. We may not know how until we get to heaven, and once we get there we probably will no longer care.

I find comfort in the Lord’s promises. His promises are good and true.

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That’s why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. —2 Corinthians 1:20

When you are afraid remember that God’s promises are true and trustworthy.

English: Cross in the village of Úsilné, České...

Cross in the village of Úsilné, České Budějovice District, Czech Republic with the writing ‘Blessed be the Lord Jesus Christ’.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is Hope in Jesus

Another lesson for those of you that have been hurt by someone who was supposed to protect you. You’ve been hurt by your husband, by your parents, by the church, etc.

I’m assuming that’s pretty much everyone!

God is there with you, and he does care for you. He does protect us, even when others won’t. Ultimately, Jesus came and bore our sin, because the world was broken. Look to Jesus, and keep your eyes on him. He loved you enough to die on the cross for you.

I apologize being a man, a husband, a parent and a minister for the men, the parents and the churches that have not protected you. They should have, but they failed. I know I have failed, but Jesus did not fail. Jesus defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross and through his resurrection.

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Corinthians 15:56,57

When you are in despair look to the cross of Christ.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Dave & Dawn on the Border

Dave & Dawn – there is hope through the cross of Jesus

This past week Dawn and I felt like the Lord took us deeper, as we participated in a Ministry of Pastoral Care conference in Wheaton, Illinois.

I also had the opportunity to preach this past Sunday on Genesis 26. Through the conference and this passage, the Lord taught me some awesome truths.

The Lord showed me how man fails in being faithful to trust God. This failure has a bearing on those we love. Man is supposed to protect women and children, yet we often do the opposite. So what do we do? Do we throw up our arms in resignation and disgust? I think not.

God Brings Healing Through Confession

One of the gifts the Lord has given us is the gift of confession for our sins and the gift of forgiveness. That is one of things that we practiced at the conference last week. It was scary to be vulnerable enough to confess to others our faults. Yet strangely we found it freeing. God brings healing as we humble ourselves and confess our sins.

Americans value individualism, and this cultural value has found its way into the church. We’ve lost the importance of living out our lives in community. Therefore, in many ways even in the church much emphasis is given to what I do individually to grow in Christ. I don’t mean to disparage the importance of that, but we don’t want to lose sight of all the one another commands in Scripture.

Love one another, Bear one another’s burdens, confess to one another, etc.

A loss of a sense of the value of community is one of the reasons we don’t confess our sins to one another today. Part of the reason as well is a wrong application of confession in some churches, which lead to seemingly rote and meaningless acts.

Confess to One Another

It’s wonderfully healing to confess our sins to God, and to one another.

James tells us,

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. — James 5:16 (ESV)

God Uses Prayer and confession to bring healing

God Uses Prayer and confession to bring healing

The Lord promises healing as we confess and pray for one another. Tell me, why wouldn’t we talk God up on this offer? I would like to urge you today to take the risk. Find someone safe that you can pray with and confess your sins to.

There are so many hurting people in the church today, so many in need of counseling. Much of the reason for this relates to either sins committed against the person or by the person. Obviously, it’s more complex than that, and I do not mean to minimize your pain if you’ve been hurt deeply. Yet I do believe God can and will bring much healing as we bring our sins to the Lord and ask him to enter in and to touch us.

Martin Luther said that, “all of life is repentance.” Let us repent for our sins, look to Christ as we confess, and receive his healing touch. Let’s walk in freedom together!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org