Posts Tagged ‘pastors’

Godly Men on the Border!
The group of pastors and leaders in San Antonio de las Minas

These are some of the pastors that serve with Lo Mejor del Trigo

The Lord has richly blessed me with a number of godly men that I serve with on the border. Each week I connect with Mexican pastors. My hope and desire is that I can be a support and an encouragement to them as they lead in the churches they minister in.

I’ve grown to love these men. They are truly hermanos in Christ!

God’s Chosen Ministers
Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Victor Bravo with Dave

Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo and Victor Bravo (in the middle), one of our newest church planters with Dave.

I met the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT), Pastor Daniel Nuñez about 5 years ago. The Lord has given us some wonderful opportunities to minister together, and as we have seen God move the Lord has also deepened our friendship. Daniel has opened the door for me to get to know the 25 plus pastors that work with LMT.

The Lord is also opening doors and giving me opportunities to get to know and grown closer to the pastors from the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico.

They too are a great group of leaders, who love the Lord. We are beginning to work on some exciting new projects!

With both of these groups we are seeing God do a marvelous work through the new churches and the expansion and outreach of the church.

I give thanks to the Lord for this band of brothers!

Pastors – My Faithful Brothers
The same creative and powerful God who made the beauty of the Sunset cares for you and me!

The same creative and powerful God who made the beauty of the Sunset is working in powerful ways on the Border!

Some of the pastors I’ve grown especially close to. I’ve come to realize as I seek to minister to them and to encourage them in their work that they minister to me as much if not more. It’s such a rich and wonderful blessing.

If you’ve followed our journey you know that our family has been going through some deep waters. These guys and their churches have stood with us. Almost daily I get a note or a phone call from one of them telling me they are praying for us. Some of them are even leading their churches through a season of prayer and fasting for our family.

That is very humbling to realize they love and care for us so much and it truly lifts us up.

Join Us In Prayer!

I do pray that I can be even somewhat as encouraging to them as they have been to us. We join hands and come together and pray that the Lord might have compassion, that the Lord might move in our midst, so we see his Spirit going before us and preparing the way. O Lord, do a mighty work. Open the hearts of men and women as the gospel goes forth.

Thank you Jesus for hearing our prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Counting the Blessings of Special Friends!
Pastor Daniel Nuñez and Victor Bravo with Dave

Pastor Daniel Nuñez the leader of Lo Mejor del Trigo and Victor Bravo, one of our newest church planters with Dave

I’m often reminded of the many blessings Dawn and I have in working with the people we minister alongside with on the border and in the Baja. I just love the variety of those we serve with. Their love for Christ and growth in Christ challenges me to grow.

I find that some of the most valuable lessons are learn are from very humble people who love Jesus. They may not have all the training that I have, but they love our Lord and they challenge me to grow in my faith.

One of the dangers of having studied a lot is that it is easy to become like the pharisees and scribes. You might remember that Jesus didn’t speak very highly of them. It is not my goal to be like a hard-hearted, stiff-necked pharisee. By the way, you don’t have to have studied a lot to become like a pharisee. It’s a danger for all of us.

God Uses Our Friends in Our Lives for His Good
Good times with our friends from Ensenada

Our friends from Ensenada from the church La Nueva Jerusalen

The friends that we serve with challenge my faith. They don’t let me rest on my laurels. Some of the pastors that Dawn and I work with have very little training, and yet we learn so much from them. We grow in Christ, because of them.

I’m grateful for the bigness and the grandness of the kingdom. There are no little people in God’s kingdom. Those that are in Christ have significance, because of who we have become in Christ. This is one of the great truths of the Bible.

We are sons and daughters of our Father. We have been adopted into his family. We can call our Father, Abba, Father! He is our daddy!

Paul and Linda Kim with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Some of the wonderful pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo In Tijuana and San Diego that we serve with

One of the reasons my friends who are in ministry challenge me to grow in my faith is that they are different from me. I see them trusting God in incredible ways. Some of them live in very humble surroundings. It’s hard, but they serve joyfully. They have an amazing amount of faith. I praise the Lord for them!

I aspire to be more like my faith filled friends. I’m grateful to call them amigo and to walk this journey of faith with them!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Great Commission

The Great Commission

It all starts with vision!

Our vision for the Border, the Baja and Beyond is to see a multiplication of churches which results in transformed individuals, families and communities.

Christ gave us the Great Commission in Gospel of Matthew.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. –Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)

God Works Through His Church
Meeting with church pastors and church leaders in Tijuana

Meeting with church pastors and church leaders in Tijuana

The best way to make disciples is through the church. The size and type of church is secondary, but the church is God’s chosen vehicle. I realize the church is imperfect made up of broken and sinful people like you and me. Yet there is much hope, because of the gospel. The gospel changes everything. The gospel brings transformation!

Since the church is God’s chosen vehicle this is the reason we believe church planting is so vital to the growth of the body of Christ.

Someone has said that Tijuana is the most evangelized city in the world and one of the least churched. This may be an exaggeration, but the point is that many groups come down to do outreach on the border, but much of it isn’t connected to the church. This leads to fruit that doesn’t last. The fruit perishes as it is often choked out by the world.

The One Another Passages
San Ysidro Border Crossing into Tijuana, Mexico

San Ysidro Border Crossing into Tijuana, Mexico

Followers of Jesus are meant to grow together. This is evident in many passages throughout the  Bible. Some of those passages are the one another passages. Here are a few of them written by the Apostle Paul.

  • Members of one another – Romans 12:5
  • Devoted to one another – Romans 12:10
  • Honor one another – Romans 12:10
  • Same mind as one another – Romans 15:5
  • Accept one another Romans 15:7
  • Serve one another – Galatians 5:13
  • Bear one another’s burdens – Galatians 6:2
  • Submit to one another – Ephesians 4:2
  • Encourage one another – I Thessalonians 5:11

I’ve been involved in meetings on Friday and Saturday with pastors and church leaders who are working in a number of cities in Baja California. My hope is that God will work through us to see his kingdom expanded through his church here on the Border, the Baja and Beyond.

O Lord, Hear our prayer. Grow your church!

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

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

The Gospel is Making a Difference in Tijuana
The pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo that we met with last week.

The pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo that we met with last week.

I give thanks for the leaders the Lord has given me to work with on both sides of the border. Last week I was able to meet with a number of them. Such choice servants of the Lord!

We visited the two churches that Harbor helped plant among some of the other churches. Cesar one of the younger pastors has just taken over a church that has gone through a lot of turmoil. The church had shrunk and was down to about three families.

Since Cesar took the church over just in the last month they’ve had 100 people attend the church.

The Lord Hears the Prayer of His People

I asked Cesar what they were doing to reach the people. He said the main thing they were doing was praying. God is hearing their plea.

These ministries are loving on the people in the community. Many of them are feeding the poor. Periodically they set up a medical clinic to help those that can’t afford to go to a doctor. It’s so good to see the Lord at work.

God is working through these churches as they share the love of Christ in their community. Our prayer is that they will continue to grow and to be a blessing in Tijuana.

Praise and Prayer

I praise the Lord for his faithfulness to these churches, and those who serve in them. They are blessing their communities in some practical ways. One of the questions we are asking is how can we come alongside of them, and be of encouragement to them.

Join in prayer as we ask the Lord to open the hearts of the people as the gospel goes out into the communities surrounding the church.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Bill Yarbrough teaching on Christ centered preaching with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Bill Yarbrough teaching on Christ centered preaching with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT)

It’s so encouraging to see the gospel make a difference in the lives of our friends on both sides of the border.

Christ-centered preaching

This week Bill Yarbrough went with me to the Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) pastors meeting. Bill gave a presentation on Christ-centered preaching. It warmed my heart to see the pastors smiling, laughing and enjoying learning about what for some of them would be a different emphasis in their preaching.

The pastors were laughing, because Bill has a good sense of humor, and he compared and contrasted what might be the opposite of Christ centered preaching. There is always the danger in preaching of placing burdens on people that they cannot bear. The problem is when we over emphasize our effort (moralism), and under emphasize Christ work for us on the cross and through his resurrection.

Moralism vs. the Gospel

Jesus spoke harshly to the scribes and the Pharisees for laying burdens on the people that they themselves could not bear. There is a danger when moralism is preached instead of the cross. I think most pastors, if they are honest, would admit that they have fallen into this trap before.

In Matthew 23:2-4 Jesus criticizes the religious leaders:

…For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and they lay them on the people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. —Matt. 23:3b-4 (ESV)

The Spirit gives life, but the law kills. The law isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t life giving. It can only warn us what not to do, or what we should do. Only the gospel gives us the power to live the life that God wants us to live.

Paul encourages the Corinthians to live in the new covenant that Christ brought:

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. —2 Corinthians 3:4-6 (ESV)

Bill Yarbrough teaching the pastors at LMT

Bill Yarbrough teaching the pastors at LMT

Most people in ministry serve, because they love Jesus, and they want to help others. Yet if we are honest, we all struggle with a bit of Pharisaism. This is true of pastors as well as those that are attending the church.

If the church doesn’t preach the gospel, then people will get weighed down by burdens they were never meant to carry. They will eventually leave the church, or live a lifeless Christianity. The gospel is life giving. That’s why Christ centered preaching is so important.

Gospel Renewal

Our prayer is that the gospel would so permeate the San Diego – Tijuana border that the border is renewed and revived. It’s a work that only God can do. The Lord works through his church – his people!

Pray with us that Christ will be preached in such a powerful way on the border that we will see many lives transformed. O, that the light of Christ would shine brightly! O, that Christ will be lifted up and glorified in a powerful way!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org