Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

Our Daily Struggle
Jonathan, Hannah, David Jr., Dawn & Dave

Jonathan, Hannah, David Jr., Dawn & Dave

The Lord’s Spirit touched Me as I read a devotional reading this week on Romans 7. This passage addresses our struggle with sin.

Paul recognizes that apart from Christ there is no good in me.

Romans 7:18-19 (ESV),

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

One problem we can have is thinking too highly of ourselves. I know that I can fall into thinking if I just try hard enough I can overcome an area of sin in my life. If I just do it differently, and obviously the Christian must take responsibility for his actions, but we grow in grace. We grow best as we apply the gospel to our daily situations.

Our Need for Jesus

Jesus said apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5b). NOTHING. did you catch that? He didn’t say we can do some things or a few thing, but zero, nada! We need Jesus to be at the center of everything we do.

Most of us struggle to believe Jesus. As I mentioned above in regards to my own challenges, and the thought if I just try a little harder. If I would just pray more, or read the Bible more, or go to church more. These are all good and important disciplines, but the key is am I trusting in my effort, or in God’s work in me? Is it all on me, or am I leaning on Christ?

Christ Alone
The Sunset on the Pacific - near Cabo San Lucas

The Sunset on the Pacific – near Cabo San Lucas

Oswald Chambers said, “the only way to keep true to God is by a steady persistent refusal to be interested in Christian work and to be interested alone in Jesus Christ .” (Oswald Chambers: The Best from All His Books, vol. 1, p. 381

Chambers words are a helpful reminder that as I serve in ministry my chief interest should be Jesus Christ. This is the gospel message. As Luther said, we must beat the gospel into our head. He said this, because of our propensity to forget.

I would just like to encourage to you dear friend to seek God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all of your mind and with all of your strength. Do this in the strength and power of the Lord. Recognize your weakness and God’s great strength.

Let’s grow in Christ together! We need each other!

Join Us in Prayer

As I write this post our family is undergoing a huge trial. I can’t share the details of the trial in this forum, but I would ask you to pray for us. We need the Lord’s comfort, wisdom and strength.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

A Banner Day!
We Worshipped Outside Today at Hoover High

We Worshipped Outside Today at Hoover High

Today (Sunday) was one of those banner days! I wish there were more days like today, but I cherish them when they come.

We at Harbor Mid City held a special outreach event to the community of City Heights called, Christmas in City Heights. The idea behind it is that people from the church purchase gifts through donations and fund-raisers.

Then the people in the church invite friends in the community who are from low-income families. There are a limited number of invitations given. Our desire is to help families that someone in the church has a relationship with.

It takes a tremendous amount of planning, and more than a hundred volunteers to pull the event off.

Wrapping Presents for All Our Guests

Wrapping Presents for All Our Guests

We invite these families to worship with us. It’s a great time of celebration.

After church we open the Christmas store, where parents can buy presents for their children at much reduced prices. Then we gift wrap the presents for them.

It’s such a great way to bless the community.

God Works Through Weaknesses

I must admit that despite such a wonderful event, and such a wonderful day that I had a bad attitude earlier in the day. God’s Spirit convicted me, and I confessed my struggles. It seemed like after that the clouds parted and skies were blue the rest of the day.

In the afternoon a group of us who were part of the prayer team decided to move our place of operation, because we weren’t getting any “business,” so to speak at the prayer booth. We placed ourselves near the exit, so when the people had already received their gifts we could talk to them.

Many Received the Greatest Gift
Great to see some of our Students from ESL enjoying Christmas in the city

Great to see some of our Students from ESL enjoying Christmas in the city

As they were walking out we asked them if we could pray for them. Everyone of them said they would like for us to pray for them, once we changed our location. Wow! God really opened the floodgates after that.

Dawn and I along with others on the prayer team spent more than two hours interacting and praying for people. We talked to them about the greatest gift that Christ came to bring through his incarnation, perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross.

The amazing thing was that these people were ripe for the harvest. A number of them prayed to receive Christ with us. I counted at least 15 that gave their life to Christ, but I believe there were more. They were all Spanish speakers, because they make up the majority of the population in City Heights.

Some were moved to tears as they heard the good news, and received the gift of life.

A Moving Story of God’s Grace
Pastor Roberto Shim preaching the Good News!

Pastor Roberto Shim preaching the Good News!

All of the people and stories behind them were unique and beautiful. I think my favorite one was with a woman named Elena. She came, because she used to clean the home of one of the woman in our church. Roberto Shim our Spanish-speaking pastor was sharing the gospel with her, and he invited me over.

I had the privilege of being there and supporting them as Roberto explained the gospel message to Elena. Roberto asked her if she wanted to pray to receive Christ, and she responded, “yes”. Then as Roberto was leading her in prayer, she began to cry, so I called Dawn over to comfort Elena.

We continued and Elena with tear-filled joy gave her life to Christ!

Then after a while we saw the woman, who invited Elena to the event. Her name is Ursula. Roberto told Ursula that Elena had come to Christ. Then Ursula began to cry, which touched Elena so that she too wept.

It was beautiful to see God work through so many people. The Lord uses the body of Christ working together in harmony to touch others with the gospel.

The light of Christ shone brightly today in City Heights, and I pray it will only grow to shine brighter.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer. These things only happen as God in his grace moves through his church as we come together to seek and serve him.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Church

Kingston Road Church

Are denominations biblical? Recently I told a friend of mine that I didn’t think denominations were biblical, and I haven’t heard from him since I made that statement. Now it’s possible that there is some other reason our contact has diminished, but I have a hunch that I may have offended him.

My intention was not to offend, and I don’t mean to offend anyone else that reads this. The point I was trying to make is that God is interested in building his kingdom, and seeing his kingdom expanded on the earth. One of the ways that happens is as his people come together, and serve together in unity.

Lessons in Our Lord, Jesus Christ’s Prayers

Jesus taught us to pray,

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

—Matthew 6:10

In John 17 Jesus prayed in his high priestly prayer, right before he was delivered over to be crucified, that the church would be unified.

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you , that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

—John 17:20-23

Christ prayed that the church would be unified so that the world would know, in essence that we are representatives of Christ on earth, and that we are loved by the Father. We are to be witnesses, so that the world will believe in Christ.

The Importance of Unity in Kingdom Work

My point isn’t that we are in sin if we are in a denomination. My wife and I serve for a denominational mission. I’m more concerned that we strive for unity within the church, and seek to partner with other ministries to see the kingdom expanded on earth as it is in heaven.

I do think that denominations serve a purpose, and God does use them for kingdom work. Just as we have people with different personalities, each church has a personality and it appeals to some people more than others. They do a better job of reaching a particular segment of society.

Tim Keller – Movement Dynamics

Dr. Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City has a helpful short video. He speaks of the importance of catholicity of spirit (largeness of spirit). “No church is perfectly balanced and no denomination is perfectly balanced … we all need each other that’s the beginning of catholicity of spirit.” Understanding that we all need each other and working together for that end is kingdom work. It makes the Father’s heart glad.

What is your Opinion?

Maybe the question of whether denominations are biblical or not isn’t the best question. What do you think? Maybe a better question is how can the church put aside her differences for the sake of the kingdom? How can we demonstrate true catholicity of spirit? I’d love to hear from you – let me know what you think.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

ESL, English as a second or foreign language

Our Growing ESL class

It’s So thrilling to see the Lord touching people’s lives here on the border!

Taking Jesus to the Streets

I mentioned in past posts that we’ve been taking Jesus to the streets each week, inviting people to our English class. Vicente and I have been walking the streets in the neighborhood where we hold the ESL class to pass out flyers and to get the word out.

We’ve enjoyed meeting new people, and going back to some of the stores and community centers to see that they have our flyers. Many of the parents in the community don’t speak English. When they go to pick their kids up at the school they have an opportunity to take one of our English class ads.

God is Blessing – People are Coming

The Lord has rewarded our efforts. New people have started coming!

students, ESL, English as a second or foreign language

Students are eager to learn

It’s so wonderful to see the Lord work through his people. He’s provided more teachers which led us to believe that he wants to grow our ESL outreach. Now he’s starting to bring more students. Immigrants and refugees are coming and they are enjoying the class. It’s fun to watch the Lord at work.

When Vicente and I are on the streets, some of the people ask us if we offer GED classes, or citizenship classes. We realize there are more opportunities to minister in the community.

The Lord Hears Our Prayers

I realize one big reason why the Lord is blessing is that many are praying. Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer!

Pray with us for wisdom and God’s blessing as we seek to minister in the community. Some of the things we need for this outreach to grow are more people with the expertise and willingness to teach, and more classroom space to hold the classes.

“Lord, please do bring us workers and provide the classrooms and space for us to expand our reach, so that we might be an even greater blessing to the community. May the light of your gospel shine forth, that many might come to know and serve you.”

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org