Posts Tagged ‘covenant presbyterian’

Tijuana

I’m on a layover flying back from the San Diego – Tijuana border, and I just read of the increasing safety in Tijuana. I know some of the risks I’ve taken have caused my mom and other concerned parties some anxiety. It’s great to get news that may calm your fears.

I was at Covenant Presbyterian in Bakersfield this last Sunday, and I told them that I feel alive when I’m in Mexico. It gives me energy, and I just love being there. I noticed as I said this that a number of them smiled at me, but it appeared they were smiling because they thought I must be crazy. Well, be that as it may, things are looking up on the border!

Nathan Jones just wrote an article that appeared in InSightCrime.org on the increasing safety in Tijuana. He stated, that Tijuana has actually become a model city in Mexico, because the crime has been reduced to pre-cartel lows. The article is titled, Tijuana’s New Calm Shows Benefits of Local Policing in Mexico. Jones goes on to say,

“Tijuana is the only place in Mexico where drug-related violence has surged and subsequently fallen to pre-conflict levels. While the government response cannot take full credit for the reduction in violence, it most certainly played a role, and that effort was not led by a federal police force.”

Hannah, Dawn and Dave in TJ

About one month ago I took Dawn and Hannah down to Tijuana and Rosarito with our friends, Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez. We had a great time, and I never felt threatened.

So come on down to the border and labor with us. The need for Jesus is just as great, but it’s a safer place to be.

This is good news for all of us! Praise the Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Dave preaching at Covenant Presbyterian Church

Dave preaching at Covenant Presbyterian Church

On Sunday I had the privilege of speaking in Sunday School and preaching at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Bakersfield. The Lord really showed up. I left filled up. Thank you, Jesus!

I preached on Matthew 9:35-38 while weaving in Luke 15. Luke 15 speaks of the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son. Matthew 9 explains how Christ was going through the towns and villages proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing people. This affected Jesus’ heart. He had compassion on the people as he saw their sorry state. Then he asked the disciples to pray:

” The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

This is a great missionary passage. It’s a truth that still rings true today. The harvest is still plentiful and there is still a huge need for workers.

Dave with Pastor Randy Martin

Dave with Pastor Randy Martin

I’ve preached this sermon before, but for some reason this last Sunday God moved in my heart in a special way. His Spirit touched me, and I sensed that He was at work in the hearts of those that came. I saw some with tears in their eyes. Now I don’t usually have that effect on people, so I know it was God’s Spirit at work. I praise the Lord that He would use me to touch others for His glory.

I love Charles Spurgeon. He is a master in the way he crafts his words. He describes things in picturesque fashion. I shared one of his quotes and the Lord used it to minister to me and the people. I’ve read this quote before, but as I read it I got emotional, which doesn’t happen very often. Also I could see that some of the people were teary eyed.

This is the quote, and I hope the Lord will minister to you through it as well. As you read it think of how great God’s love is for you personally as well as those prodigals you may know. Spurgeon is referring to the scene when the prodigal returns to his father. The title of the Sermon is, “Many kisses for returning sinners.”

Think of yourself as well as I you read this – look at how much God loves you!

In this repeated kissing we see, then, these three things: much love, much forgiveness, and full restoration.

Let me try to describe the scene. The father has kissed the son, and he bids him sit down; then he comes in front of him, and looks at him, and feels so happy that he says, “I must give you another kiss,” then he walks away a minute; but he is back again before long, saying to himself, “Oh, I must give him another kiss!” He gives him another, for he is so happy. His heart beats fast; he feels very joyful; the old man would like the music to strike up; he wants to be at the dancing; but meanwhile he satisfies himself by a repeated look at his long-lost child. Oh, I believe that God looks at the sinner, and looks at him again, and keeps on looking at him, all the while delighting in the very sight of him, when he is truly repentant, and comes back to his Father’s house.”

Isn’t it wonderful to be loved by our amazing Father? Isn’t it an amazing love?

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Please be in prayer for me this week as I meet with many of our ministry partners on the border.

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach

I left early this morning for Los Angeles. I don’t necessarily like to fly out so early, but the ticket was much cheaper that way, so I did it. Since I arrived in LA at 8 AM, and I didn’t need to be in Bakersfield until this evening I took advantage of it and spent some time at Santa Monica Beach.

I love the beach. When I see the vastness of the ocean it reminds me of how big and awesome our God is!

I was struck by something else as I walked from Santa Monica Beach to Venice Beach. All the people! All the needy people! There is a mixture of those who are exercising, relaxing, bumming and making a living. I encountered some odd and interesting characters. One guy had a big flag with a marijuana plant on it. I took a picture of him. I thought, “this is California at it’s finest,” or at least I thought it was funny. The guy didn’t like me taking a picture so he gave me a not so nice gesture.

In every culture there are small ‘g’ gods. Things people make an idol out of. I did see some literal idols, and paintings of spiritual beings. These are indeed spiritual people. For some their idol is their body, or maybe their health. It’s sad, but we all struggle with making idols out of even good things. Someone has said that our hearts are idol factories!

Tomorrow I will be preaching on Matthew 9:35-38 at Covenant Presbyterian in Bakersfield, California. Verses 35 and 36 say,

“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

The guy in Venice promoting his cause

The guy in Venice promoting his cause

While I was at the beach I took a break and went over my sermon notes, and the last part of this passage really hit me. As Jesus was among the people he saw their crying need. He saw they were harassed and helpless. Not only were they a needy people, but they didn’t have anyone to care for them. They were like helpless, hapless sheep without a shepherd.

I thought, “wow! That’s a pretty good description of what I’m seeing here. Many people in need.” If we want to have the compassion Jesus had, we just need to open our eyes. Look at those around you. I’m sure you will find many who are distressed.

Jesus felt deeply for the people. He proclaimed the good news of the gospel of the kingdom. This makes me ask, is the gospel we are proclaiming good news? Gospel means good news, but do those we share it with feel like it’s good news? Are we distorting the good news? I sure do hope and pray that as I’m sharing the gospel, that it is truly good news to those that receive it.

Then Jesus asks his disciples to pray for workers to be thrust out into the harvest field. The needs are so great, and the workers are so few!

This is one more reason we need your prayers. One more reason we need workers. O Lord, hear our prayer and send workers to labor with us on the border, and beyond!

What is your response to the questions I am asking here?

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org