Posts Tagged ‘Phoenix’

Staying on the Move
Pastor Abraham Velazquez leading worship

Pastor Abraham Velazquez leading worship

Sometimes there is so much going on it’s hard to stay up on my posts. I’m also trying to write a book, but I haven’t yet figured out how to squeeze time in to give it the necessary attention. I’d appreciate your prayers that the dream of publishing a book would become a reality. Also, If you have any suggestions on how to fit it into a busy on the go schedule let me know.

Dawn and I will be leaving for Phoenix in just a couple of hours. We will be connecting with a church in the area and we’ll be attending a church planters network meeting. It promises to be a good time with some outstanding friends and ministers of the gospel. To top it off we also will be celebrating our 29th anniversary on Monday, March 5.

Dave preaching in Tijuana

Dave preaching in Tijuana

Brokenness and Healing

Last weekend, Dawn and I had the privilege of visiting Pastor Abraham Velazquez’s church in Tijuana. We’ve grown to love Abraham and his wife, Martha. It’s always special when we can be with them. 

I had the opportunity to preach at their church. The sermon was on Isaiah 54, Breakthrough for the Broken! My family and I have experienced our share of brokenness over the last couple of years since Hannah moved to heaven. This passage gives us hope for a better tomorrow. The barren one, the broken one is told to sing and cry aloud, because the Lord is going to deliver her.

The passage goes on to say prepare yourself for growth. Enlarge your tent. Get your house ready, because I’m going to bring an increase. I am going to bless you!

Isaiah 54:1-3

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
    break forth into singing and cry aloud,
    you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
    and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
    and your offspring will possess the nations
    and will people the desolate cities. (Isaiah 54:1-3)

One of the practices that Dawn and I have to look for the promises in the Bible and to use them in our prayers. These promises give us hope, especially when things go awry. Does that ever happen to you? I would like to encourage you to remember the promises of God and to repeat them often.

Breakthrough for the Broken in Tijuana
Ministerios Transformación Rojo Gomez church in Tijuana

Ministerios Transformación Rojo Gomez church in Tijuana

It was such a good time to minister at Pastor Abraham’s church. After the sermon, we had a time of prayer, and it was so encouraging as people shared their testimonies. One of the leaders in the church said that he had been having nightmares that he was going to die. He felt a release and peace after the prayer. I sent him a note the next day and he told me that he slept well and that he didn’t have any nightmares!

Another young man shared about the abuse he had suffered in his family growing up. He was bitter, but he felt the need to forgive his family so I was able to lead him in prayer to confess and forgive. He also needed Jesus so I had the pleasure of leading him to Christ! God is so good, and he is definitely on the move.

I learned while I was at the church that Pastor Mere Godinez, the pastor of the church we are building for Hannah used to attend this church in Tijuana. Abraham and Mere grew up together. They attended church together, and they are both in the ministry now. Wow, Lord! Thanks for all that you are doing. Praise you!

In His Grip, Dave

Dawn (my traveling partner) and Dave

Dawn (my traveling partner) and Dave

I’m traveling with my wife, Dawn now. We are in Phoenix. I’ve been on the road a great deal lately. There are some things I like about traveling. I enjoy making new friends, and connecting with old friends. I’m not thrilled about being away from my family so much. I am hopeful that once we transition to the San Diego – Tijuana area I will be at home more. It’s great that my wife is able to join me on this particular trip.

While I’m on the road I usually have more to write about, but it’s harder to find the time to write. But I have a moment now as we are between meetings, grabbing some ice tea at a Starbucks.

Yesterday we were with some friends that are on the newer side of the spectrum. We visited New Valley Church. A great church in Phoenix that we have a growing relationship with. Then we had lunch with a small group that have a strong interest in missions. We really enjoyed the time!

Pastor Scott Brown leading at New Valley Church

Pastor Scott Brown leading at New Valley Church

Scott Brown is the pastor at New Valley Church. Dawn and I enjoy being with him. He is a church planter, and has a heart for the unchurched. I find that we resonate with most church planting pastors.

Scott’s sermon was from Romans 9:25 – 10:4. He focused on verses, 30-33 (ESV):

“What shall we say, then? That the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued the law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works, They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.'”

Here’s some of my take aways. Grace is counterintuitive, therefore many trip over the stumbling stone of grace. Many including the Jews, in this case think we have to work to earn God’s favor. Often people look to the law, the things they do to save them. The problem is the law is like a mirror. It can show us that we are dirty, but it’s not able to clean us. It can only show us we are not clean.

Paul several times in Romans asks rhetorically, “what shall we say, then?” The answer is always no, until he gets here. Now the answer is yes. Even though the Gentiles did pursue righteousness, they attained it by faith! Israel pursued the law hoping to obtain righteousness, but they failed!

Christ is the stumbling stone. People continually stumble over grace. It’s part of human nature to feel like you’ve got to earn your salvation. Yet Paul here says it’s in faith through God’s grace that we are made righteous through Christ. Christ is indeed our righteousness! Let us rejoice!

In His Grip, Dave

Dave sharing about our border ministry at New Valley Church on a previous visit in December

Dawn and I are looking forward to worshipping with friends at New Valley Church in Phoenix today. I must say that I’m not looking forward to enduring the heat, although I do love the warmth of the people. We are building a relationship with this church, and talking to them about partnering with us in a variety of ways on the border.

While we are in Phoenix this week we will be connecting with friends and ministry partners. On Tuesday Dawn and I will be talking to three families about the possibility of joining our team on the border. We will meet with one American couple and two Mexican couples.

Wow, do we ever need your prayers!

I notice as we are involved in front line ministry and recruiting people to join us that we often get attacked. It’s a reminder that we need people to hold us up in prayer. Last week we were going out and prayer walking and evangelizing in City Heights in San Diego, and in Rosarito, Mexico. God wonderfully blessed our time. While I was doing this Dawn was praying with and ministering to a family that had some major strongholds in their lives.

Some of the guys we were out sharing with In Rosarito

Some of the guys we were out sharing with in Rosarito

Then the onslaught began. First, my debit card was hacked, and some purchases we didn’t make came up on our statement. I had to close that debit card, which is really tough when you are traveling. I’m still dealing with the fallout of that.

Next on the way home I got stuck in Houston, and partly because of the problem with my debit card I wasn’t able to find a hotel, and I spent the night in the airport. NO fun! I posted on Facebook that I felt like Tom Hanks in the movie, The Terminal. Pardon the language, but I think it was the trip from hell.

The main point here is we need prayer coverage.  We move forward on our knees. We are convinced of the power of prayer!

My wife has reminded me more than once that dogs don’t bark at parked cars. As we seek to share Christ’s love, and in a real sense invade Satan’s territory it’s not surprising that we encounter opposition. We appreciate your prayers this week as we interact with friends about our ministry, and recruit some new potential workers. We keep seeking the Lord and asking for workers. Could this be an answer to our prayers? Stay tuned!

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Happy Father’s Day! It’s not a job for wimps.