Posts Tagged ‘Philippians 4’

How do we Handle All the Negativity?
Michelangelo’s La Pieta – Reminds us of Christ’s suffering for our sins to give us a future and a hope

On Saturday I was listening to some sermons and talks as I was mowing the lawn. It’s one of the things that I enjoy doing while I take care of our yard. Often, the Lord meets me and encourages me during this time. I did feel more hopeful after listening to these messages a couple days ago.

Dad & Mom Together Forever with their Savior now. One of our trials is that both of my (Dave) parents moved to heaven within 67 days of one another.

I use YouTube to listen to a number of these sermons and talks. Later in the day, on Saturday, I decided to watch some news on YouTube as well. Someone had suggested a particular feed, which was supposed to be more positive. Unfortunately, the news I was finding was very disheartening. After I watched it I felt anxious.

I forgot about the news and watched the movie, Greyhound. It’s an entertaining, although intense movie. It got my mind off of the news at least for a little while. Then as the movie was ending I began to feel heavy, and I wasn’t sure why at first. Then I remembered the news reports I had watched about what was going on in some of our major cities. Of course, it doesn’t help that on top of all the bad news that I’ve recently lost both of my parents within a 67 day period.

I prayed for the Lord’s peace and came against fear and heaviness in Jesus name. This gave me peace.

After that experience, I began to think about how much negative news there is today. The COVID-19 crisis has dragged on much longer than any us hoped it would. There’s been so much social unrest and political divisiveness. And if you are on social media at all even Christians are posting messages that aren’t edifying. It can bring you down if you spend too much time there.

Our Biblical Hope
Dave & Dawn having a delicious meal and a little fun with church planters Davis & Luz. We encourage one another

All of this is swirling around right now. It’s the ambiance that we are living in, and it does make it harder to maintain our biblical hope. When we think of biblical hope, it’s not a wish, but rather an assurance. It is an assurance of God’s goodness. He is true to His promises and to work everything out for good.

Paul encourages us in various passages to be disciplined in our thinking. To think with a renewed mind, Romans 12:2. To take every thought to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:4,5. To think about what is good, peaceable, excellent, and pure, Philippians 4:8,9.

This is an important discipline for each of us. We must recognize that our warfare is not against flesh and blood. It is against rulers and authorities, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:11. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, and he doesn’t play fair.

Since it’s a spiritual war, our weapons are not carnal. Paul exhorts us to put on the whole armor of God, so that we might stand firm, Ephesians 6:13. Our enemy is sly, he is evil, and he also has a measure of ungodly wisdom.

As we stand our ground we remember who we are in Christ. I love to pray and to proclaim the wonderful promises found in God’s Word. I seek to do this every day, and it lifts me up. I pray this way for our church planters and for my family. The Lord responds and He answers. He is a good and loving Father.

We are Victorious in Christ!
A nesting dove in the backyard of my parents’ home. Reminds us of God’s perfect peace

We are triumphant and victorious in Christ. Hallelujah!

I’ve found it important to incorporate worship into my prayer life. Worship is an effective weapon against the attacks of the enemy. Martin Luther and many leaders since have claimed that worship is one of the most effective ways to defeat the enemy.

The Waymaker

Waymaker and The Blessing are two of the songs the Lord has used to minister to me during this time of walking through the valley. He is indeed the waymaker!

The Blessing
Lines for Food and Basic Needs Still Exist
One of the long lines waiting to buy food on the Big Island

Often, when I’m going through a difficult time, or I’m having a bad day I think about my friends in Mexico, or on the Big Island. My friends, our family on the Big Island tell us how the scarcity continues. They struggle to buy the food and basic necessities that they need. They have to stand in long lines all day just to survive. When I think of them and what they are living through it helps me to put things in perspective and to pray for them.

That is also one of the reasons I keep bringing up their needs. They need our help. We’ve been able to help more than 300 people, numerous families and pastors. Dawn and I continue to pray and hope that things will improve and that they will begin to have an easier time getting the food that they need. So far that hasn’t happened.

Extend Your Hands to Help Those in Need
One of the young families that we’ve helped, because of your generosity

Your generosity is a huge help. The needs are real and they continue, so consider a gift today! Thank you.

Click to Give

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Work of Healing

Hannah celebrating the good news with her favorite Starbucks drink!

Hannah celebrating the good news with her favorite Starbucks drink!

Today we received some wonderful news. Dawn, Hannah and I went to see Hannah’s psychiatrist and he said that Hannah is doing so well that she no longer needs to be on any medication. Wow!

We’ve prayed for this for a long time. Two and a half years to be exact. A number of people have prayed for us and with us! Well guess what? God answered our prayer!

You can read about some of our trial here…

After we left the doctor I told Hannah that I wasn’t sure that I should share this, because it is sensitive info and I didn’t want to hurt or offend her. Hannah told me right away that she wanted to share it, and thought I should share it as well, because it’s a testimony of God’s goodness, God’s healing power and his amazing grace.

Hannah’s Amazing Testimony!

Hannah with our two loving brothers, David & Jonathan

Hannah with her two loving brothers, David & Jonathan

Actually Hannah posted this just a few minutes after we left the doctor’s office. She was so excited, and so were we!

Two and a half years later and my heart is full of joy. If someone would have told me then that I would be here now I would not have believed them. This is a testament of God’s faithfulness. I went to see my doctor today and he approved to release me. Today I can say… I am off ALL of my medications. I am NOT depressed, manic, anxious, or any other diagnosis. My name is Hannah and I AM a daughter of the King Most High.
This verse has meant a lot to me from the start, Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
No matter what situation you are in…. Nothing is impossible with God. NOTHING.
God is good all the time… And all the time God is good.

We walked through some very deep waters to get to this point. I feel like it was the most painful thing I’ve ever been through, but God rescued us.

God is Our Deliverer

Hannah, Dawn and Dave with Uncle Jim

Hannah, Dawn and Dave with Uncle Jim and Daisy

He is Jehovah Rophe our healer, and Jehovah Mephalti our deliverer!

God brought us out of the pit and healed our daughter in an amazing way. We like to call her our princess warrior, because of all she’s been through and all that she’s had to battle against.

God is indeed greater. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Hallelujah!

I want to thank each of you who stood with us through this uphill climb. My wife and our two boys were amazing in the ways they prayed for, encouraged and loved Hannah! God brought us the right people at the right time to help us through.

Rejoice with us dear friend! And again I say rejoice!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Taken from Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

Taken from Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

Give Thanks!

“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.” —Philippians 4:4

One of my goals for this year is to practice Philippians 4:8. In this passage Paul exhorts the church to think on good and even excellent things. Too often my thoughts are toxic, so this is an excellent reminder for me.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, emphasis mine)
One of the ways to think on things of excellence, and things that are praiseworthy is to remember the good things that the Lord gives us each day. I realize that too often I pray for something, and the Lord answers and rather than focusing on his goodness and his faithfulness to provide I start to think about the next mountain I have to climb. Jesus does want us to stop to give thanks for all that he is doing in our lives.
The Lord’s Answer! Amazing!

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

The Diaso Family at the border – with the U.S./Mexico border fence in the background

Dawn and I were working for and praying for a strong year-end in 2015. December is always an important month for us as the Lord provides through his people, and we catch up financially from some of our slower months. A strong December means a solid start to the new year in January.

This last year Dawn and I prayed and looked at our budget and we felt that we needed $35,000 to finish the year strong. A few days before the end of the year we were at about 80% of our goal. We continued to pray as the year drew to a close. It takes a week or more after December 31st for us to know for sure how much comes in.
When I checked it last week it was at $33,000, and Dawn and I were praising the Lord that we came so close to reaching our goal. Then I checked again this week, and another gift came in at the last moment of $2,000, which put us over $35,000.
More Abundantly Than All That We Ask or Think
The Lord even exceeded what we asked for! Thank you Jesus!
Another passage that the Lord has had me meditating on is Ephesians 3:20,21.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21 ESV, emphasis mine)
Rejoice with us and Pray with us

We appreciate your continued prayers

We appreciate your continued prayers

I felt like it was important to share this good news, because I asked you to pray. I asked you to give so that we could reach this goal. The Lord used many friends to make this possible. We give thanks to the Lord for his good work, and for his people.

I would like to encourage you to think about the excellent and praiseworthy things each day. Thank you for joining us on this journey!
In His Grip, Dave
New Year, New Opportunities

2015 - 2016I’m thankful for a new year with all the new opportunities. 2015 was an outstanding year in many ways. That’s not to say that we didn’t experience some difficult days, but the Lord brought us through the darkness. He grew us and matured us. I feel comforted knowing that the Lord has a purpose in every circumstance we encounter.

Despite the trials of 2015 we also saw some of the greatest accomplishments and victories that we’ve seen in all our years of ministry! I highlighted a number of them in my last post.

Praying for an Outstanding 2016

Dave & Dawn

Dave & Dawn

Dawn and my prayer is that 2016 will be an even better year, as the Lord works in and through us!

I have been thinking and working on goals for 2016. Goals like we want to facilitate planting two new churches this year, and to continue multiplying coaches for pastors and leaders.

A Philippians 4 Attitude

Another goal that I’m working on is more of attitudinal goal. I’d like to grow in encouraging others, and to have a more positive outlook.

The Lord has been speaking to me over the last several months about having a Philippians 4 attitude:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4, 8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Paul encourages us to think about good and excellent things. In doing so we become more healthy, and we are more able to encourage others.

I feel like I’m entering the new year with mixed emotions. On the one hand, excited about the new opportunities, but on the other hand struggling to get started. The Lord says we are more than conquerors in Christ, so I have to preach the gospel to myself, and remember the good promises of our loving father.

Choose to be Happy in 2016!

happinessRecently my son, David Jr. introduced me to a study on happiness, presented by Shawn Achor. I was very impressed by the findings in his study. Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., a psychologist, and the author of “The Happiness Advantage“. In many ways Mr. Achor’s study supports what the Bible teaches about in regards to benefits of having a positive and encouraging mindset.

Shawn Achor gave a TedTalk titled: The happy secret to better work. It’s a short well done discourse that I think you will enjoy, so I’m including it here. Maybe it will help you to start the new year on a positive note, and to come up with some uplifting goals for 2016.

You can also listen to a recent EntreLeadership podcast interview with Shawn Achor—How Happiness Fuels Your Success here…

Join us in prayer as we continue on this journey of faith in 2016! Dawn and I hope to be an encouragement to you as you are to us. We gives thanks for you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Daisy at the beach

Daisy at the beach

Lessons from Daisy

I took our dog, Daisy on a walk at the beach in the morning. I find that the Lord ministers to me and lifts up my soul when I’m at the beach. Today God taught me a valuable lesson through Daisy.

Daisy and I got towards the end of the beach before we turned around. I took her leash off, and let her run free. She was so happy to be let loose. She started running all around with abandon. It brought a smile to my face, and made me happy as I watched. Her excitement and happiness brought me great joy.

Then as I reflected I thought how much pleasure it gives our Father when we are filled with joy. I think the Lord delights in our joy. He loves to give us good gifts as James 1:17 states.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Our Children Give Us Reason for Joy

Imperial Beach with the U.S./Mexican border in the distance

Imperial Beach with the U.S./Mexican border in the distance

He calls us sons and daughters. I thank the Lord for the gift of my grown children, David, Jon and Hannah. All three of them have accomplished much in their school and work that make Dawn and me feel proud. David and Jon have excelled at work and school. Hannah has overcome some huge obstacles and we are so thrilled and proud of her as she starts her discipleship training school – IMPACT 195.

Dawn and I teared up, with tears of joy as Hannah left for her wilderness camping trip earlier this week. She was so happy to be going, we couldn’t but be moved with emotion. Then to watch all the other students and staff cheer them on as they left also moved us.

God’s kids often have a distorted view of him. They see him as a kill-joy, but he takes pleasure in his children. Our joy pleases him.

IMG_0088If watching Daisy and my children gives me joy, I can’t imagine how much more the Lord is moved as he cares for us. Jesus told us that his Father cares for the birds and the lilies of the field, which are relatively insignificant. How much more does he care for us! We are made in his image.

As the first question of the Westminster Catechism asks: What is the chief end of man? To love God and to enjoy him forever. John Piper calls this Christian Hedonism. I suppose it’s the only good form of hedonism.

“Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Join Us in Prayer

Pray that we continue to grow in the Father’s favor and that we daily experience his joy.

Today we are doing a medical outreach in Ensenada with Redeemer Church and Iglesia Nueva Jerusalen (The New Jerusalem). Pray for God’s care and a fruitful day of ministry.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thanks for the Loving Support

Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter, Hannah

Our family has felt very loved through the prayers and encouragement of all of our friends. This has been hard. This painful journey with our daughter, Hannah. The healing has come slower than we’d like, but it is coming!

Two weeks ago the doctor was very concerned about Hannah’s lack of progress. We sent out an appeal. The first call to prayer that I posted. We also called, sent out texts, tweets and Facebook posts. The response was overwhelming. God is using your prayers and support to sustain us.

God Breaking Through

Also, after we sent out this call to prayer through the various media we saw a breakthrough. The Lord answered, and Hannah started showing progress. Since then I’d say the progress has been relatively steady, although slow.

Hannah had her best day yet yesterday. We keep looking to Jesus, just really hanging on to him and his promises. There are hills and valleys on this journey. The Lord holds us in his firm and loving grip, and we have an army of friends who stand with us. An army who are traveling with us on this journey. For that we are truly grateful.

A Story of Enduring Hope

A dove nesting on the ledge of the entrance to our house

A dove nesting on the ledge of the entrance to our house. A reminder of God’s peace.

I’ve been reading a book about a group that were stranded on Antarctica in 1915 and 1916, and how they survived for about a year against insurmountable odds and opposition. The book is titled, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. One of the most important things that kept them alive was their attitude. Ernest Shackleton, the leader, whom they called boss, made sure they didn’t get down, and that they believed there was hope.

This reminds me of Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 4, and it’s been something that we’ve had to remind Hannah of.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)
Paul reminds us to think about good things, things of excellence. There are many excellent and encouraging thoughts found in the Bible. Those also sustain us. Here are a few of those promises:
For We know the thoughts and plans that our God has for us, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give us hope in our final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11 AMP)
We will not die but live, and we will declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord. (Psalm 118:17 AMP)
No weapon that is fashioned against us shall succeed, and we will refute every tongue that rises against us in judgment. This is our heritage as servants of the Lord and our vindication from you, our Lord. (Isaiah 54:17 ESV)
Keep Storming Heaven in Prayer

Hannah, Dawn and Dave

Hannah, Dawn and Dave

We long to see another breakthrough for Hannah. We’d love to see her completely healed, so please continue to storm heaven with us.

I’m sending out more frequent updates on Hannah via my Twitter feed: @ddiaso and on our Facebook page Diaso Life on the Border. My twitter feed is also on the left side of this blog page.
Thanks so much dear friends!
In His Grip, Dave
Our Weekend in Fresno

Dave at Sierra View

Dave at Sierra View

This weekend Dawn and I along with two of our kids, David and Hannah were able to go to my home town, Fresno. Sunday morning I preached at Sierra View Presbyterian Church on Philippians 4:1-9, on The Incomparable Peace of Christ.

God’s Perfect Peace

One of my favorite passages and a wonderful hope filled message. I shared the following three points during my Sermon

Three Keys for Peace
  1. Always Rejoice
  2. Pray in all occasions 
  3. Focus your thinking on what is Excellent

I love the promise that God gives us in this passage in verses 6-7.

The promise of the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus

It’s like the soldiers that are ready, watching over, guarding and protecting the city. The Lord watches over and protects us.

What a beautiful promise of God that he will care for us and protect us. It’s something that should bring us much peace and encouragement. We know that God loves us and he rules over all things, so he has a good purpose for everything that happens.

Even though God doesn’t always respond to our prayers how we would like him to – he does respond how we would if we knew all that God knows!

I’m so grateful that the Prince of Peace promises us a peace that passes our understanding. An incomprehensible peace, because it’s so huge. As we pray God does respond. These are promises that are worth remembering and meditating on.

I pray that they will be a blessing to you as well.

God’s blessing in my hometown

Some of the things that made it extra special for me to be able to be in my home town and preach at Sierra View are that my parents and my brother and his family were able to be there with us! Also, Sierra View has been the church that has partnered with us for the longest, since we started in ministry in 1988. We’ve known each other for a long time.

Thank you Lord for your many blessings and for encouraging me and my family through your people this weekend.

I’m off to Los Cabos and La Paz this Monday morning to help set up our new church planting project in La Paz and to look over the damage done by Hurricane Odile. Pray for a profitable trip and the Lord watches over and cares for my family while I’m gone.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org