Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians 6’

Our Familia in Cuba Needs Our Prayers!
Mario & Yani with their team of church planters

Our familia – Mario & Yani with their team of church planters. From the top left moving clockwise: Junior & Kendra with Mario & Yany; Jorge & Rachel with Dave; Mario & Yany with Dave; Dave next to Yoiset & Osmeiki

Yesterday (Sunday), Cuba held an election to legalize gay marriage. The results of the election are to be released today. I decided to write about this because it is affecting many of my friends, our familia in Cuba.

Some of the pastors in Cuba are undergoing persecution because the church is opposing the legalization of gay marriage. While I was with my friends a couple of weeks ago, they told me what was going on, and it concerns me. We need to be praying for our brothers and the church in Cuba.

The Challenges of Dealing with the LGBT Agenda
Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Pastor Luis & May with their children Zuri & David

Unfortunately, we’ve seen the gay LGBT agenda making headway around the world. I’m willing to admit that the church has done a poor job of showing love to the LGBT community. We’ve struggled to figure out how to lovingly show that we do not agree with the LGBT lifestyle. I mean the Bible calls it sin, yet there are many other sins the Bible refers to, and in those cases, we seem to more effectively show love and grace to the person without agreeing with what he or she is doing. This is something the church has to do a better job addressing.

I don’t want to focus so much on the overall problem of the church and the LGBT community in this post. My focus here is what’s going on in Cuba and how we can pray for our brothers and sisters there.

While I was in Cuba I learned that the government allowed the gay community to hold a march and to also hold a huge rally in a stadium supporting their cause. When the church asked for the same privilege they were denied.

The church sent a letter to the governing officials stating their case and asking for the opportunity to represent for their view in public. They wanted to present their side of the argument, but they were denied. They were not allowed to organize a march and they were not allowed to hold a rally.

It’s interesting that in 1960 when things shifted dramatically in Cuba that pastors, Catholic clergy and homosexuals were imprisoned. This left the church without their main leaders for a number of years. Most families didn’t even know where these pastors were for three years or more. We can also see the cultural shift here, at one point the government saw the homosexual community as a threat to their society. Now there has been this huge swing, and they are actually promoting the LGBT agenda. They have denied the right of the church to promote what the Bible teaches about the family.

Our Battle is Spiritual
Prayer in Camaguey. These people are warriors!

Prayer in Camaguey. These people are warriors!

I think that in large part this is the agenda of the god of this world. He is the enemy of the church and the enemy of our soul. The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 6 that our struggle, our battle is not with flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities.

Our friends many of whom refer to us as part of their family have come under oppression during these days because they have refused to support the LGBT lifestyle.

I must admit barring a miracle this new law allowing gay marriage is going to pass. Of course, our God is a God of miracles so he can do the impossible.

Great Sacrifices Made for the Gospel
Some of the wonderful friends the Lord has given us that have become family

Some of our wonderful friends that the Lord has given us who have become family. What a precious gift they are!

My heart goes out to our family on this small island. They’ve suffered so much for the sake of the gospel. They’ve made sacrifices so that the gospel might be proclaimed. Sacrifices that most of us can’t even conceive of. Dawn and I admire their commitment to Christ and his church. I feel that it challenges our faith in a good way.

The church in Cuba is growing in large part, because of their willingness to serve and minister despite the huge costs. Christ paid the ultimate price so that we might have life. They are following in Christ’s footsteps so that others might hear the good news and come to faith. I give thanks to the Lord for their example and their amazing faith and commitment to follow Jesus.

Join us in Prayer!
Pastor Ivan praying for church planters Osmeiki and Yosiet

Pastor Ivan praying for church planters Osmeiki and Yosiet

Join us in praying for our Cuban familia, made up of many pastors and leaders and those under their care. Pray that the church continues to grow despite the opposition and that the Lord sustains the pastors, especially those who are experiencing persecution. We live in this crazy mixed up world, where men wear beautiful gowns (see Oscars Ceremony Sunday night) and people call wrong right and right wrong.

Our hope is that Jesus is on the throne. He rules! Jesus promised us in this world we would have many trials, but he also said cheer up, because I have overcome the world! (John 16:33) Thank you, Jesus!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A Fruitful Trip to Fresno
Dave speaking at our seminar on Mexico at the conference

Dave speaking at our seminar on Mexico at the GMC conference in Dallas. (We didn’t get a picture at Sierra View)

Over Thanksgiving weekend Dawn and I had the opportunity to visit my family in Fresno. It was a good time to see my family again. Dawn’s mom also flew out and joined us for a couple of weeks.

While in Fresno we connected with one of our partner churches, Sierra View Presbyterian. I was able to share about our ministry and to preach at the church. I preached on Isaiah 54, Breakthrough for the Broken. The Lord encouraged us as he showed up and we felt his presence in a special way. Thank you, Jesus, for hearing and answering our prayer!

So Grateful for Our Faithful Partners!

While we were at the church it hit me that Sierra View was one of the first churches that started supporting us as we began with Mission to the World (MTW) back in 1988. Wow! Hard to believe that we are coming up on 30 years with MTW! I started with MTW as a single young man in 1988, and Dawn and I were married in 1989. Dawn went through the evaluation process to join MTW before we were married. Anyway, however, you slice it we’ve been involved in missions for a good long time.

Not only was I impressed by how long we’ve served in missions, but by the importance of having faithful partners standing with us in the ministry. Since we were in my hometown, my parents were there as well. I realize that I could have never gotten to where I am today without my parents and that Dawn and I could not do the outreach, coaching, church planting we do without a number of friends, family, and churches standing with us.

Even this blog has opened up the door for new friends that are praying for us and encouraging us as we serve.

Stand Firm with Other in the Battle
Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together

Dawn and I walk on this winding road of faith together. We give thanks for all of our friends who are on the journey with us!

In Ephesians 6 Paul exhorts us to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. He then goes on to tell us to gird ourselves with the armor of God. Each believer needs to stand firm fully prepared with the armor of God. Yet, we are not to fight alone. We are to battle side by side with other believers in the power and strength of the Lord.

Our enemy roams like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but our victory is secured in Christ. Yet the battle rages on until Jesus returns. We stand together against our common foe. That is a good analogy for all of our ministry activities we are not meant to go it alone. We are not supposed to be Lone Ranger Christians.

therefore, I thank the Lord for Sierra View Presbyterian church and all of those who stand with us as we invade enemy territory. The kingdom of God continues to advance. The advance may not always be as quick or as easy as we’d like, but our victory is assured. We are more than conquerors in Christ!

Thank you, Jesus for gathering such wonderful partners that surround us, love us and pray for us. This has been a hard year with our daughter, Hannah moving to heaven. I really don’t know how we would have made it without all the loving support that sustains us.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Journey Continues
The Diaso Family at the border - with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

Dawn, Jon, Hannah, David Jr. and Dave at the border – with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

Last year at this time are family was going through some deep waters. At times, it felt like hell on earth! Pardon the expression, but it seems to fit. We cried out to you for prayer, and many people sent encouraging notes and surrounded us in prayer.

Dawn and I give thanks for you! You hold us up. I don’t think we would have made it without your loving support.

Now that we are a year removed from that experience there are some important lessons learned. We are not completely through the trial yet, although we’ve come a long way towards healing since then. We’ve learned and continue to learn about the spiritual battle that we are in. The Lord is deepening us and refining us through the refiner’s fire.

Healing in His Wings
Hannah is excited to be starting IMPACT 195

Hannah at her school – IMPACT 195

The Lord has used all kinds of friends and wonderful people to come alongside us and to help us on this journey. The discipleship school that Hannah is in IMPACT 195 has been a huge encouragement to Hannah. She has made some wonderful friends, and God has blessed her with some tremendous mentors. Yay Jesus!

There are so many friends that have lifted us up along the way, it’s not possible to mention them all. I will say of those that are close to where we live the pastors and leaders we work with on both sides of the border have been such a blessing to us.

Some of the pastors that I mention often in my blog like, Ivan Casados, Jaime Rodriguez, Daniel Nuñez, Victor Bravo, Abraham Velazquez, Mauro Lopez, Cesar Zavala and Mario Perez among others have asked their church to lift us up in prayer. Every time I talk to them they always ask about our family, and tell us they are praying for us!

Their prayers and your prayers make us feel so loved! It truly lifts our spirits.

God’s Promises

God promises to use trials for our good to build patience, character and hope. We see that happening, although it’s not easy. We are learning things about the Christian life, prayer and spiritual warfare that we would have never learned without this difficult season.

We are often reminded of our weakness through this trial, but God promises that his grace is sufficient.

…”My grace is sufficient for you, and for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

—2 Corinthians 12:9

This is one of Hannah’s favorite Bible verses. Doesn’t it make you feel better knowing that the Lord uses our pain and our weaknesses? I find it to be a source of peace.

The Battle Rages On
The Sunset on the Pacific - near Cabo San Lucas

Sunset on the Pacific

Make no mistake about it, if you are a follower of Jesus then you are in a battle. It’s not a physical battle, although it surely affects us physically. Paul tells us to stand firm in this battle and to put on the armor of God. I think too many Christians don’t take seriously enough the war that we are in.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

—Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV

I’m so thankful that the Lord doesn’t leave us defenseless, but he equips us with the appropriate armor so that we can stand firm. We have victory in Christ! We are more than conquerors! Yet the battle rages on.

I love the powerful promise that the Lord gives us. He gives us hope.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

—2 Corinthians 10:3-6 ESV

What a wonderful promise. The weapons that God has given us have divine power. They are powerful enough to destroy the strongholds. As we stand together as a body we are stronger. The church is triumphant in Christ.

These Trials Have a Purpose

Just yesterday a friend and mentor of ours sent us a note of encouragement. She said,

“The word says what Satan intended for bad God will use for good. All this mess you have had to go through will bring great victory to many. You have plowed deep trenches Hannah. Not an easy way but others will come through easier because of this. The way of the Master is good. Many are those God has called to be part of this battle.”

Excited about all that God is doing in Hannah's life!

We are excited about all that the Lord is doing in Hannah’s Life!

We are not through the battle yet. We still need your prayers and encouragement. Thanks so much for standing with us, and for all your love. Let’s march forward together in Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less…
Billy, Hillary, Hannah & Dawn. We were blessed by Billy and Hillary coming over to encourage us yesterday!

Billy, Hillary, Hannah & Dawn. We were blessed by Billy and Hillary coming over to encourage us yesterday!

The last couple of days the Lord has been encouraging me through friends, hymns and praise music.

The theology found in many Hymns is rock solid and profound. Hymns not only help us worship the Lord they also remind of the eternal truths of the Bible. Hymns like, When Peace Like a River, Grace Greater than Our Sin, Nothing but the Blood and My Hope is Built.

Then there are great songs like, Jesus Loves Me and As the Deer Pants for Water.

My Hope is Built on Jesus

I love the words found in these hymns. For example the Hymn, My Hope is Built:

1.	My hope is built on nothing less 
	than Jesus' blood and righteousness. 
	I dare not trust the sweetest frame, 
	but wholly lean on Jesus' name. 
Refrain:
	On Christ the solid rock I stand, 
	all other ground is sinking sand; 
	all other ground is sinking sand. 

2.	When Darkness veils his lovely face, 
	I rest on his unchanging grace. 
	In every high and stormy gale, 
	my anchor holds within the veil. 
	(Refrain) 

3.	His oath, his covenant, his blood 
	supports me in the whelming flood. 
	When all around my soul gives way, 
	he then is all my hope and stay. 
	(Refrain) 

4.	When he shall come with trumpet sound, 
	O may I then in him be found! 
	Dressed in his righteousness alone, 
	faultless to stand before the throne! 
	(Refrain) 
—Text: Edward Mote, 1797-1874

I understand that there are many who don’t like hymns and you may be one of them, but you can’t argue with the value of the timeless truths found in them. It brings me much comfort to sing and to meditate on what God has done for us through the Son.

Yes, that give me hope!

Doesn’t it encourage your spirit? Doesn’t it lift you up?

A New Birth is on the Way!

We are ready to start a new church plant in Valle Verde in Tijuana. In the midst of our tears and sorrows the Lord is still working, and his kingdom is advancing. We will start the work on this church planting project as early as next week!

Prayer Covering

The Lord has been reminding me through the trials our family is going through how much we need prayer covering to protect us. I don’t fully understand the angelic war that goes on in heaven and on earth, but in Ephesians 6 we are told to stand firm in the battle. Paul exhorts us to put on the full amor of God and to pray.

Your prayers play a huge part in this battle that we are engaged in.

Keep praying! Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Worship at the Men's Retreat

Worship at the Men’s Retreat

Enjoyed a great time at The Oaks Camp in Lake Hughes, CA this weekend. A group of men from Harbor Mid-City attended the men’s retreat hosted by World Impact.

World Impact’s mission is to evangelize and disciple the urban poor. It was quite an experience being with men, many of whom had come from some very difficult backgrounds. Yet Christ reached in and saved them. We are all on a journey with Jesus, just at different places on the journey.

I loved seeing the grace given, and seeing some tough dudes who are now sold out for the savior.

Stephen Phelan, pastor of Harbor Mid-City thought this would be a great opportunity for the men of Harbor from both the Spanish and English church to come together for this retreat. These men are in training to be leaders at the church. The church will not grow if it doesn’t have strong, godly men to lead it.

We sang in Spanish and English, as it was a bilingual conference. The main speaker, Don Davis spoke about the warfare we are in from Ephesians 6:10-20. Our battle is not against flesh and blood. Therefore our armor must be different. God does protect us. He does gives us armor. We would be hopeless without it. We march forward in God’s armor.

Pray that the men of Harbor would grow in faith and practice. That daily they would put on the armor of the Lord, and be true warriors for Christ.

I’d also appreciate your prayer as we go out to share the love of Christ with Pastor Leo and his team in Rosarito, Mexico today. We are going to share in the neighborhood where the church is located.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org