Posts Tagged ‘Religion & Spirituality’

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

God Works Through Relationships
Pastor Daniel Nuñez with the mic leading us in prayer at the pastors meeting for Lo Mejor del Trigo

Pastor Daniel Nuñez with the mic leading us in prayer at the pastors meeting for Lo Mejor del Trigo

I feel the longer we are here the deeper our relationships grow, and the wider the ministry reaches. We’ve often prayed that the Lord would enlarge our borders. The journey has been much more crooked and with more lows than we could have ever imagined, but still God is on the move.

One of our believes is that ministry flows out of relationship. God’s Spirit seems to be unleashed as kingdom minded ministries work together.

The Lord brought this point home to me as I participated in a meeting with the pastors from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT) last week. It warmed my heart to rub shoulders with such wonderful servants of the Lord. Pastor Daniel Nuñez leads the group, and he and his family are special friends.

The Spirit Enlarges Our Borders – Praise Him!
Dave Preaching at Lo Mejor del Trigo - Terrazas

Thankful for opportunities to share the Word with my friends from LMT

Later in the week I had the chance to preach at El Niño, the mother church for Lo Mejor del Trigo. Pastor Daniel was the pastor of this church, and he recently handed over the reins to his son, Pastor Turi Nuñez.

Dawn, Hannah and I also spent some time with some friends in Ensenada and San Antonio de las Minas, which is near Ensenada. God is opening up some doors for us in these places as well.

We rejoice in the breath of the Spirit. He moves in a powerful way. It’s so easy for relationships to go awry. We’ve seen some of that as well. Another motive for prayer.

Join Us In Prayer!

Pray with us that Jesus will continue to deepen, strengthen and widen these relationships. We have some important ministry opportunities taking place over the summer.

This coming Sunday we will celebrate with Lo Mejor del Trigo in the inauguration of their 25th church. Half way there, in their goal to plant 50 churches! Rejoice with us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Band of Brothers & Sisters at LMT
Some of the pastors and their wives from Lo Mejor del Trigo

Some of the pastors and their wives from Lo Mejor del Trigo

On Monday evening Dawn and I had the privilege of being with some of my favorite people in the world, the pastors and wives from Lo Mejor del Trigo (LMT). We shared a delicious meal of Birria, and then we met together upstairs in the sanctuary.

The pastors there represented the 24 churches that are part of LMT. This gives me 24 reasons and counting to be hopeful in 2015.

We Prayed for a Movement!
The foundation has been laid for the church #24 in Rosarito near Tijuana

The foundation has been laid for the church #24 in Rosarito near Tijuana

When I first met Daniel Nuñez about 5 years ago, they only had 6 or 7 churches. It’s been thrilling to be on this ride and watch them grow from 7 to 24 in just a few short years. The Harbor network of churches who we partner with north of the border is getting ready to help LMT establish their 24th church. This will be the 4th church that LMT and Harbor have come together to start.

Before Dawn and I moved to the border we prayed to the Lord and asked him to let us be part of a church planting movement. He has heard our prayer! We are also connecting with some other ministries that desire to plant churches. One of them is the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. We are working with them to plant churches on the border and in Baja California.

The Highs & Lows of 2014
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. We are planning on starting a new church in Rosarito in early 2015

Getting back to Dawn and my special night with our friends from LMT. While we were together we shared our highs and lows of the year. It was a rich time to learn about the great opportunities and challenges that the pastors faced in the last year.

I shared about how this last year had been one of our most difficult years, and yet I felt that the Lord has taken us so much deeper. Our love for him has grown. It has both Dawn and I longing for more, and excited about what our Lord has for us this year. We don’t want the pain that the trial produced, but we do more of God.

Can we have one without the other? I think we can, but I also know God has a purpose and a plan for the trials he brings our way. If we do have do endure more, he will hold us up!

On the way home Dawn and I were talking to pastor Jaime Rodriguez. I told him that I felt honored to be included in the meeting with all the Lo Mejor del Trigo pastors, even though I’m not part of LMT. He said you are one of us, you are part of us. Well, that was the cherry on top of the night.

Jesus, Hear Our Prayer

Lord, I know when something grows for the kingdom that the evil one wants to attack. I pray for your protection, and that this movement will continue to blossom. Christ said in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. That gives us hope moving forward that the church is built on a firm foundation.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Works through our Weaknesses
Lindsey, Ana & Rafael working in the the Christmas store

Lindsey, Ana & Rafael working in the the Christmas store

A friend commented after I wrote my last post that I shouldn’t have mentioned I was in a bad mood, or had a bad attitude. They thought everyone is going to wonder why I was in a bad mood.

I think this is a good point, but I felt like it was important to mention my poor state of mind for a couple of reasons.

First, I believe it’s helpful that people understand that it’s God who brings the fruit. Even though you could say that I wasn’t at the top of my game, God still used me. Paul said when I am week then I am strong, because God’s grace abounds and is released.

…”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of the weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. —2 Corinthians 12:9,10

Pastor Roberto Shim sharing the good news of Christmas with our Spanish congregation

Pastor Roberto Shim sharing the good news of Christmas with our Spanish congregation

I also thought it was significant that the Spirit prompted me to confess my poor attitude, and to repent. After I did that my heart was changed. God began to do an amazing work. This is an evidence of his grace in my life.

Martin Luther said that all of life is repentance. I’m finding this to be true in my life. Also, as rotten as my attitude can be, it’s so freeing once I do confess my sin and my struggle. It makes me wonder, why do I wait so long to turn to God, and confess?

So you might still be wondering, what I had a bad attitude about? It wasn’t any one thing, and it wouldn’t be wise to share it publicly on this forum. Just know that I am a sinner saved by grace, and that God is faithful to use flawed people. I do think confession and repentance are wonderful remedies that the Lord has given us, and I am so thankful for God’s grace. I am so thankful that he forgives, and that he still uses me despite my flaws.

Exciting to See People Respond to the Gospel

The Lord is the one who brings the increase! We are excited to be a part of that.

There were at least 17 people that prayed to received Christ with a group of us from Harbor Mid-Ciy on Sunday. We are so thankful for such a great group of people that the Lord has given us to minister with at Harbor. I pray that the Lord will give us many more days like that.

The fruit was ripe. Dawn and I were there at the right time. Glory be to God is the highest!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thanksgiving Amidst the Trials
Hannah & David at the airport when Hannah arrived for her surprise visit!

Hannah & David at the airport when Hannah arrived for her surprise visit!

The Lord says he stores up our tears in a bottle. This gives me comfort knowing that he cares deeply about our pain.

Last week I wrote about some of the pain that our family and some friends of ours endured. if you missed it you can read about it here Trials & Tears!, and Trials & Tears: Part Two, Answers.

This week especially we focus on the many blessings that God has given us, and it truly has been a better week.

My daughter, Hannah, who was in a bad car accident last week is here with us to celebrate Thanksgiving. My son, Jon, who had an emergency eye surgery last Friday is recovering. It will be a while before he gains full use of his right eye, but the surgery was successful. We give much thanks for that, and we continue praying for a full and complete recovery.

God Uses Ana’s Pain to Bring Adam to Christ!
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 cares for you and me!

Our friend, Ana who was detained last week was set free last Friday. She is now back with her family!

Ana made a wrong turn last week when she was taking a friend’s son to school. That wrong turn led to her being detained.

The father of the boy Ana was taking to school is named, Adam. After all that happened last week Adam came to church last Sunday with Ana and her family. He heard the gospel, and he gave his life to Christ. God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he? Yet, he is always working, and doing so in such a way that he gets the glory.

We don’t always understand the reasons why, or the how’s, but we can trust that he is working.

God’s Loving Care
English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lord cares for you. He tells us he will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He says that the plans he has for us are good (Jeremiah 29:11). He encourages us to ask him for our needs, for even a father will give his child a piece of bread when he asks for it (Matthew 7:9).

Aren’t those wonderful and encouraging promises? We just need to lean on him and trust him.

Lift Our Voices in Thanks to Our God

Lord, I praise you that, because of you we have much to be thankful for. Thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for giving us friends and family to love!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend!

In HIs Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Has Blessed us with Kingdom Partnerships

photo 1One of the many things that excites me about what God is doing on the border is the wonderful partners that God has given us to work alongside.

On the U.S. side of the border, Dawn and I have a strong and growing relationship with Harbor Presbyterian Church. In Tijuana the Lord has blessed us through our relationship with Daniel Nuñez and his network of churches called, Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat).

This past Sunday Harbor celebrated its 13th year, since they began. It’s super encouraging to see all the Lord has done through Harbor. The movement started with Dick and Liz Kauffman. Today Harbor has 8 sites, and Redeemer Presbyterian, which used to be Harbor North County.

The celebration this past Sunday was held at Redeemer Presbyterian church in Encinitas.

Praise the Lord for the many good works he has done!

A Testimony of God’s Rich Blessing

Here’s a short video that highlights how Harbor and Lo Mejor del Trigo have come together to see new churches planted South of the Border.

God Bless Your Church

May the Lord continue to bless San Diego – Tijuana through these strategic partnerships. O Lord, we pray that churches will multiply on the border as we work tougher for your glory!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

New Beginnings in La Paz
The group that met together to open up the new work in La Paz

The group that met together to open up the new work in La Paz

On Wednesday I participated in a historic event for the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (NPCM). The head of evangelism for the NPCM, the leader for the Church Planting  Center, leaders from the Fronterizo Noroccidental (Northwest Border) Presbytery met with us to explain and agree on a plan to open a new field and start a new church in La Paz, Baja California.

I feel like this is huge, because it’s not always easy to find common ground and to agree to work together when people from different cities, cultures and organizations come together. Yet God made a way!

La Paz, Baja California

La Paz, Baja California

Another reason that it’s a major accomplishment is that there are not any Presbyterian churches in La Paz, and there are only a few churches. La Paz, which means, the peace, needs the prince of peace to reign in their midst.

I represented Mission to the World (MTW) at the meeting, and I presented our missionary workers who will be working alongside the national church planter, Peter and Jenny Boling.

It’s exciting to be part of something new!

I learned some more about Mexico during our meeting. There are 27 cities in northern Mexico. These 27 cities contain 80% of the population in northern Mexico. There are 50 million people living in northern Mexico. The other interesting fact is that the northwest part of Mexico has less than 2.5% of the presbyterian churches in Mexico.

Praying for the Prince of Peace to Reign in La Paz
Praying for the work in La Paz

Praying for the work in La Paz

Anyway you look at it the need it huge. That’s one of the reasons that I ask you to pray. This is the Lord’s work and only he can bring the increase.

Peter and Jenny Boling are now living in Los Cabos, and they will begin doing the preliminary work to start the new church. In the meantime we will be working with the NPCM and the Church Planting Center to find a lead church planter. The Lord knows who that will be, but we don’t know yet. Pray that the Lord raises up the right person for the ministry.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org