Archive for May, 2014

Grace Renewal
Dick Kaufmann leading the church planter's meeting

Dick Kaufmann my friend and mentor

One of the many things that I’ve loved about working with Harbor Church is their emphasis on grace. Pastor Dick Kaufmann when he started Harbor about 14 years ago sought to emphasize a gospel-centered and a grace centered movement of churches.

The outflow of that is that at most Harbor staff meetings and church planter meetings we tell grace renewal stories. Stories that show how God is working. Testimonies of his grace.

I felt like I should share a couple of wonderful grace renewal stories with you today.

God’s Work in Dawn’s Life
My lovely wife, Dawn with our beautiful daughter, Hannah

My lovely wife, Dawn with our beautiful daughter, Hannah. I give thanks to the Lord for both of them!

Dawn and I have asked you to pray for her sinus infection. The doctor told her last year that she was going to need a surgery to correct the problem she had with her sinuses. Since that time we’ve been praying for the Lord’s healing touch. Dawn has also used some alternative health remedies.

The prayer and the natural vitamins went on for close to a year. Yet, Dawn was still experiencing some of the same symptoms with her sinuses.

Finally, she just felt a peace that she had tried everything and that she should go back to the doctor to get a CAT scan. Initially we were discouraged, the CAT scan showed no change! The nurse talked to Dawn about when they could schedule the surgery.

This Tuesday we went to the doctor, because he needed to examine Dawn personally to see what the exact issues were, and to make sure she needed the surgery. I accompanied Dawn for that doctor visit. She was very nervous.

The doctor arrived in the room. He is very business like. His bedside manner could use some work, but he has a reputation as one of the best doctors in his field in the area. Anyway, he shows us the CAT scan. The doctor explains this is how a normal sinus should look, and then he shows us the pictures of Dawn’s sinus. They don’t look like a healthy sinus.

The doctor says he needs to look into Dawn’s sinus to see what’s going on and to check it first hand. He gets this long scope that sends my wife into some fear and panic. She weeps, and asks the nurse if she will hold her hand.

You Do NOT Need Surgery!

Then as the doctor is checking Dawn’s sinus, he asks “have you ever had surgery on your sinus before.” “No,” is the response. Then he says, “your sinus looks healthy, you will not need surgery.”

Wow! Even though we didn’t think the Lord had healed Dawn, he did!

I know that the Lord doesn’t always choose to heal, but it sure is exciting when he does.

The Father’s Good Gifts – Rejoice!
Sunset on the Pacific

Sunset on the Pacific reminds me of God’s grace and power

I love Jesus’ exhortation regarding prayer found in Matthew 7. This passage is also a great promise, and a wonderful reminder of how our loving Father wants to give us good things!

““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” —Matthew 7:7-11 ESV

Rejoice with us! Even though we doubted God answered.

Keep Praying

Since the Lord hears our prayers, and you play such an important part in that I wanted to ask you to pray for our church. I can’t go into the details, but the Hispanic ministry is experiencing a huge trial right now. We need wisdom and the Lord’s unifying peace.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

Dave preaching

Dave preaching

Are You Living Worthy of the Gospel?

Paul exhorts the Philippians to live their lives worthy of the gospel.

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,” —Philippians 1:27 ESV

I had the great opportunity to preach on this passage this past Sunday. I love Paul’s pastoral heart. His concern the church in Philippi.

The book of Philippians is part of Paul’s prison epistles. He was concerned for the churches that he started. So he encouraged them to stay strong in their faith and to walk in a way that honors God.

We Strive, but in His Grace
Jon, Hannah, David Jr., Dawn and Dave

Jon, Hannah, David Jr., Dawn and Dave

I like the thought of living worthy of the gospel. On the one hand, we know that we can’t live in such a way without the gospel deeply penetrating and permeating our lives. We strive, but in his grace.

Jonathan Edwards said, “The secret of the Christian life is to let the reality of the gospel filter into the nooks and crannies of your life, in your reasoning as well as in your experience.”

We are not worthy of the gospel in and of ourselves, and Paul’s not trying to say that we should be. Rather he is stressing now that you have received the gospel of Christ, keep moving forward in his strength. Don’t settle for a mediocre Christian life. Grow in the rich soil of his grace.

I pray this will be true of those in the churches we are working with on the border. I also pray that it will true for you.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

The Battle Rages On
Sunset on the Pacific

Sunset on the Pacific

Over the last couple weeks I’ve met with some of the pastors that I’m coaching and encouraging, and they are going through some difficult times. That’s why the question of, who will win comes to mind.

I take comfort that despite the fact that the battle rages, and at times it’s hard to see the light we know that God is on the throne. We know that God uses our pain. He uses our hardships to build into our lives. The Lord doesn’t waste the troubles we encounter.

I just finished reading through the book of Job this morning, who is the patron saint of suffering. God never really answered Job as to why he suffered so much. His answer seems to be, if I told you why, you wouldn’t understand. Job was humbled before the Lord. He recognize how small he was compared to God. He repented of his foolish plea.

Look to Jesus

Of course, our Lord Jesus Christ who is perfect and holy endured the cross for our sin. Jesus is the ultimate example.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1, 2 ESV

Look to Jesus.

That’s an amazing statement, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” Jesus is our hope. His resurrection means there is victory over sin, death and Satan. We are to live in that victory as more than conquerors!

If we want to be like our savior, should we expect not to suffer?

The answer isn’t to seek suffering. It helps tremendously to know that a loving Father is orchestrating all things.

Our Suffering is Not Wasted

The apostle Paul encourages us to rejoice in our suffering, which seems like crazy talk. Yet, he does this, because of what the difficulties of life are building into us.

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 ESV

All the hardships we endure in this life are producing good things in us: endurance, character, hope. So don’t give up dear friend, there is much hope.

Pray for us and those pastors and ministers we serve with who are going through some trying times! Pray that we will all keep our eyes on Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

David’s Graduation
David's graduation from San Diego Christian College class of 2014

David’s graduation from San Diego Christian College class of 2014

Wow! What a weekend!

Graduation weekend for our oldest son, David Diaso Jr. It’s hard to believe that he’s already done with college. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were getting him set up to start college.

I’m sure the time didn’t go quite as fast for David, since he’s the one that had to do all the work to get through school.

Dawn and I are very proud of our son. I know that David’s brother, Jon and his sister, Hannah are also enjoying celebrating their brother’s accomplishment.

It was a special treat this weekend to have all the grandparents in town for the big event. They too were very proud, and we were glad that they could celebrate with us.

God’s Faithfulness to Our Son

David did very well in school and the Lord used him as a leader. We are encouraged by how God worked in his life and how he matured him.

David with Dr. Paul Ague and some of his friends from school

David with Dr. Paul Ague and some of his friends from school

Our family has come to love San Diego Christian College, since David had such a positive experience at the school. He made some great friends, and he had some wonderful teachers who loved him.

Since David was the president of the student body this last school year he got to know the president of San Diego Christian, Dr. Ague and other leaders at the school. The Lord used that among other experiences to build his confidence and grow him as a leader.

We look forward to watching how the Lord will use David in the future.

Be Strong & Courageous
David getting settled in at school 3 years ago. Where did the time go!

David getting settled in at school 3 years ago. Where did the time go!

Joshua 1:9 gives us hope and courage as we move forward in life. When David was in high school he said this was his favorite verse. I love the whole passage, and I find it’s something that I need to return to often.

I pray that this will be true in David’s life and for all those in our family. Here’s Joshua 1:7-9 (ESV)

Joshua 1:7-9 ESV

“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.””

Give Thanks to the Lord!

Join us in giving thanks to our God for his faithfulness to build into the life of our son. Praise him for allowing David to excel, and to finish strong. He is a great and awesome God, who does wonderful works. He is worthy of praise, honor and glory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Our hope for the Border

Our hope for the Border

A friend of mine, Susie Fikse who went with her family to one of our recent outreach trips to Tijuana just wrote a helpful article on immigration issues. Click on the link to read the article Immigration: Reforming Hearts as well as Policy.

I like to highlight articles like Susie’s that can help us think through an issue that many people feel strongly about. Yet, I think most of us don’t understand all the complexities that are involved. What is our responsibility as Christians? How should the church respond to the needs of the immigrant community? Difficult questions for sure.

Fikse in her article cited above asks,

What are our deepest beliefs about immigration? Are they influenced more by the political parties and the media, or by Scripture and the heart of God? As Christians more fully understand the deeper issues embedded in the immigration debate, grasp God’s love and compassion for the “alien,” and begin to love those in our midst, our political positions will be infused with the compassion and truth of our Heavenly Father.

These are the types of issues and questions that we deal with daily here on the border. On the U.S. side of the border I frequently interact with people who live here, who have out stayed their visas. On the Mexican side some of the ministries that we are directly involved in are reaching out to the homeless and disenfranchised.

Ministering to the Needy on the Border
pastor Leo leading us in prayer

Pastor Leo leading us in prayer at the border

There are many people living in Tijuana right at the border line that have been deported, and they have nowhere to go. Fortunately, there are loving friends like, Leo and Gloria Nevarez who care for these people. They share the good news of the gospel with them, and they feed them.

The complexity and challenges of the border are some of the things that drew Dawn and me here. Jesus loves the foreigner, the alien, the lost and the destitute, and he calls us to do the same.

One of the passages that the Lord used to call us here is found in Isaiah 61.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound… They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:1,2,4 ESV)

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

God’s Work Through Mario & Silvia
Silvia, Chivis, Mario & little Daniel

Silvia, Chivis, Mario & little Daniel

I had a wonderful time when I was in Mexico City last week. I loved the opportunity to see the city after so many years, and to reconnect with some of my friends.

Dawn and I first met Mario and Silvia Silva 19 years ago. We were attracted to them and they become close friends. They joined us in planting a church in the southern part of Mexico City.

The Lord used that experience to give them the bug for starting new works. Mario likes to blame me for getting them involved in church planting. Mario and Silvia are both very gifted and have a heart for the lost.

One of the things that was so invigorating on this trip was watching Mario and Silvia in action. Mario works for a pharmaceutical company, and he and Silvia are super busy. Living in such a big city adds to the complexity of their lives.

Despite everything else they are doing, they have found time to lead two house churches. Mario and Silvia have church in their home every Sunday with about 30 friends. On Wednesdays after work Mario leads another group.

New Life in Christ for Evelyn & Emily

After a muy sabrosa breakfast with Mario and Silvia and the family Mario felt led to share the gospel with a grandmother and her granddaughter, who were in the park across the street. I mostly just watched and prayed as Mario loved on these people.

Evelyn & Emily with Mario

Evelyn & Emily with Mario

Mario saw Evelyn and her granddaughter (I think her name was Emily) and he felt like the Lord was leading him to share the gospel with them, because he noticed that the Emily was sick. Emily was in a wheelchair, and she lost her hair due to cancer. Cancer also took her leg.

Evelyn and Emily were very friendly, and open to the gospel message. When Mario asked them if he could pray for them, and if they would like to pray to receive the gift of eternal life. They said yes, and Mario led them in prayer.

He asked them if they would like to come to his church, and they said, yes! Now Mario is working on picking them up before church so that they can attend.

Mario & Silvia’s House Church
Mario leading the group that meets in his home

Mario leading the group that meets in his home

Then on the Sunday I was with Mario and Silvia at their house church. It was so encouraging to see Mario leading the group. Silvia and their daughter, Chivis were loving on and ministering to the children.

They had a visitor join them, so after the service Mario had the opportunity to share the gospel with their new friend and she too prayed to receive Christ.

Dawn and I have been praying that Mario and Silvia could join us in the work here on the border, but so far the Lord has closed the doors on that. Yet, it’s so good to see how the Lord is using them where they are at.

We believe in the Lord’s good and perfect timing he will bring us the right people to serve with us. In the meantime we just keep on looking to him and trusting him.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

La Capital – Mexico City
The Cathedral on the Zocalo in Mexico City

The Cathedral in the Zocalo in Mexico City

It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long, 12 years since I’ve visited this city, which I once called home. I remember how hard it was to leave. Even all these years later we have some very dear friends here.

God has used this trip to remind me about many of the things that first drew me here. The people, the culture, the food and the physical and spiritual need. I still love those things about Mexico.

This city can be intimidating. It’s one of the largest in the world with 25 million plus. I was a little nervous about returning. You might remember that with all the good experiences I also passed through some difficult events.

Once I got here and I was able to re-familiarize myself with the city, then I started feeling more comfortable. All the good memories began to come back.

I realize now that I left my heart in this city. I invested almost a decade of my life to it and it’s people. Two of my children were born in La Capital.

I didn’t have all the success here that I would have liked, but God taught me many things, and I was able to make in a difference in some people’s lives. Thank you Lord for that gift!

Reconnecting with Friends
Silvia, Mario, Chivis and Daniel Silva

Silvia, Mario, Chivis and Daniel Silva

While here I’ve stayed with our good friends, Mario and Silvia Silva. It’s been so good to be with them. They are some of our dearest friends. I still wish there was a way for us to live closer and to minister together.

I’ve enjoyed rediscovering some of the city with them, and reconnecting. They’ve started a house church, and it’s encouraging to see how the Lord is using them here. I pray that their ministry will grow. I still pray that God will show a way that we can minister together.

In my next post I will write about how I see God moving in Mexico City, and especially through my fiends, the Silva’s.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org