Posts Tagged ‘romans 8’

To Die is Gain, even in Our Pain
Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

Dawn and Dave with Hannah when she graduated from IMPACT 195. Two months later she graduated to heaven. We miss her every day. So thankful for our hope in Jesus!

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the worst and longest day of my life. The day my daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso graduated, or as we like to say she moved to heaven.

When I think about it, I suppose it was the worst and the best day of Hannah’s life. Her last day on earth wasn’t a good day for her or for us. Yet she was immediately ushered to heaven where she saw Jesus face to face.

The Lord has been comforting me and reminding me this week of his true and amazing promises. I don’t think I could make it without his loving care and assurances.

Just as I began to write this he reminded me of Paul’s statement regarding life and death.

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 ESV

It’s an amazing statement, but if we are honest, this is not the way most of us live. Death is a wake-up call. Dawn and I think about death differently now that Hannah moved to heaven. It’s caused us to think of heaven more frequently, and wonder what it is like there. Hannah went from suffering to experiencing pure joy in just a moment. It’s so hard to comprehend!

My Hate for Death!
Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

Hannah Diaso, Our beautiful daughter

Through my sweet daughter’s graduation to heaven, I’ve had to come to grips with death. It’s not an easy thing to do. I believe it’s a long process that I’m still going through in many ways.

I hate death and its effect on man. I never realized how horrible death was until my daughter died. God created the world without death. When man fell into sin death was waiting right at the doorstep. Ever since then all of creation has been groaning for the day of redemption.

I’m thankful for the life I’ve been given, but I long for redemption. I look for glimpses of my Heavenly Father’s redeeming love every day. When I see someone healed, or someone receive the gift of eternal life I believe this gives me a glimpse of redemption.

Again Paul gives us words of hope as we wait.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as son, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:18-23 ESV emphasis mine

Our loving Papa is at work as we suffer in this world. He brings redemption and he gives us hope as we wait.

A Desire to Encourage Others

Both Dawn and I love to minister. We enjoy encouraging others and seeing them set free of whatever may be holding them back. Often our friends will make a comment to us that we’ve been able to encourage them and lift them up in the midst of our pain and mourning. I think at times they are surprised that we’ve been able to stay upright and maintain a positive attitude.

We do have our difficult and down days, but it encourages us as we love on and minister to others. We’ve seen a lot of grace during these moments. Part of the mystery is the grace flows two ways as we extend God’s goodness to others. It goes out to those we minister to, but it also comes back to us.

I must say that I believe everyone in my immediate family, Dawn, David jr., Jonathan and me have all grown deeper in our love for the Lord. It’s not because there is anything special about us. When you are hurting, you realize that you need to run into the loving arms of your Father. It’s a place of comfort and nourishment. Once you’ve tasted of his love you want more and more. O Lord, bring it on!

More of the Lord’s Loving Encouragement
Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

I found it interesting in my normal daily Bible reading this week, that the Lord had me read Psalm 116 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Amazing passages!

“I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:1,2 & 16 ESV

I still don’t fully understand death, and God’s ways, but I’m glad to know that the Lord does have it figured out. He has a plan for life and death. He even says that our days our numbered. At times all we can do is trust in his loving kindness. That’s what I choose to do.

From the moment Hannah moved to heaven one of the most helpful comforting verses in the Bible has been 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Often when I share my faith with nonbelievers I tell them that we are sad, but we have hope. The hope of heaven, the hope of redemption, the hope of a Savior sustains us. It takes away the sting of death. Christ conquered the grave.

“…what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.”        1 Thessalonians 4:13,14 MSG

I thank the Lord for the work of Jesus through his death and resurrection. Because he conquered the grave we have hope!

I hate that our daughter is no longer with us physically on this earth, but I’m grateful for the promises. I’m grateful for the hope of the gospel. I will continue to love and serve with Dawn longing for and looking for glimpses of God’s redeeming love until the day of redemption. Then I will be reunited with Christ, Hannah and all the saints that have gone before me.

Thank you, Papa, for your loving care! Hannah, I look forward to seeing you again soon!

In His grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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Coffee with Special Friends in Colombia!
Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

Dave & Dawn visiting our MTW missionary colleagues in Bogotá Colombia

I loved the wonderful coffee in Colombia, and as wonderful as the coffee was there was much more for us to experience in Colombia. We spent the first part of our time in Colombia in Bogotá where we saw many of our MTW missionary colleagues, including Joe and Becky Harrell. We first met the Harrell’s when we served together with them MTW in Mexico City. From Bogotá, we went to Manizales.

Manizales is not far from Bogotá. It’s only about an hour by plane. Manizales is near coffee country. Dawn and I spent a few days with a young couple, Luis and Kerly who we first met in Ensenada where Luis was studying for his doctorate. They are a gifted and loving couple, and they love Jesus.

Something New in Manizales
Dave and Dawn helping launch the new cell group at Luis and Kerly's home

Dave and Dawn helping launch the new cell group at Luis and Kerly’s home

Luis and Kerly wanted to start up a cell group in their home and they were praying for a good time for them to start it up. They felt like the Lord was leading them to start it while we were there, and they wanted us to help them kick it off. Luis and Kerly asked us to share with the group some of the things that the Lord had put on our hearts.

Dawn and I had a wonderful time with the group, and we enjoyed sharing with them and leading them in prayer. Those who came responded really well to what we shared, and they told us that it helped them and it encouraged them. One particular couple wanted us to come to their house the next day.

Freedom & Forgiveness in Christ
Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly. Kerly is due with their second child any day now

Dave & Dawn with Luis & Kerly. She is due with their second child any day now. They opened doors for us to minister to their friends!

So on Saturday Dawn and I went to David and Maria’s house. After we shared a meal together we all went into their living room. Their two grown children and Maria’s mother also joined us. Dawn and I lead them in prayer, and as we prayed we discovered that Maria was carrying a lot of fear and guilt. She was very open with us and told us that when she was 17 years old she got pregnant and she was afraid and didn’t know what to do. Maria didn’t want to tell her parents so she decided to take some herbs that she thought would cause the baby to abort. She also got up on a chair and jumped down hoping that would cause the baby to be aborted.

She was still carrying tremendous guilt because of her attempt at aborting her baby!

In God’s grace, she wasn’t successful in aborting her child. And her son, Jorge was in the room with us and he was praying with us.

We lead Maria with the support of her family through some prayers to cut off the guilt and shame that she was carrying. We reminded her of God’s promises in Romans 8:1.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God promises to forgive those who are in Christ. There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!

Dawn and I encouraged Maria to ask Jorge to forgive her for trying to abort him. It was such a beautiful moment. I wish you could have been there to experience it with us. Maria and Jorge were crying as they asked for forgiveness, and we all began to cry with them as we saw God move and bring healing.

Maria told us she felt the peace of Christ after our time of prayer! It was so good!😊 Thank you, Jesus!

The Power of the Gospel

After our time of prayer, we learned that Jorge was not following Christ and hadn’t yet given his life to Jesus. Yet he was there praying with us through the whole time, and he was so loving to his mom when she asked him for forgiveness. So I asked Jorge if he had ever prayed to receive Christ, and he said, “no.” I asked him if he would like to give his life to Christ, and he said, “yes!”

I took some time to explain the gospel message to him. How Christ died for his sins. Christ died the death that we should have died. He lived the life that we should have lived. He paid the penalty for us. Christ defeated sin, death, and Satan on the cross and through his resurrection. I went on to explain the importance in placing our faith in Christ in trusting His work and in calling on His name so that he might be saved from his sin.

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

After I shared these truths with Jorge I asked him again if he would like to pray to receive Christ, and he said, “yes.” Then I had the privilege of leading Jorge in prayer to repent of his sins and to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. His family joined us in prayer. We were all rejoicing after that seeing God’s mighty hand.

David and Maria and their family are such sweet people. Just like our friends Luis and Kerly. It’s like the Lord just knit our hearts together, and the Lord continues to grow our family. It’s one more way that I see the Lord redeeming our daughter, Hannah’s early home going. So painful, yet our Papa loves us and he brings healing and hope!

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

 

Mixed Emotions on This Day
One of our goals for 2018 is to build a church in memory of our daughter, Hannah.

Our daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso

Today is a special day in the life of our family. Under normal circumstances, this would be a day of celebration. You see, on this day, April 9 my daughter, Hannah would have turned 24. The key phrase there is “would have,” but Hannah moved to heaven on October 18, 2016.

Now it is a day with mixed emotions!

Sorrow & Hope!
Hannah #AHannahPercent

Hannah We love you #AHannahPercent

Dawn and I along with our boys, David and Jonathan continue to give thanks for Hannah. We are grateful she was born. We give thanks for all she has meant to us, and the gift she is and was to us. Yet, there is also sadness and sorrow, because she is no longer here. As much as we wish we could, we can not change the fact that she has gone on ahead of us to be with the Lord.

For believers mourning is strange, in that, on the one hand, we have hope. All is not lost. We will see Hannah again! Hallelujah! Hannah is experiencing the greatest celebration possible today! Yet, because we love her so dearly we miss her. Each of my family members wishes we could take her out for a meal today, buy her a birthday cake and watch her joyfully blow out the candles. We would love to buy a gift for her and watch her open it.

Rather we are forced to wait. It’s not easy to wait. We do grieve, we do mourn, but not as those without hope.

The strange thing is on these days that should be days of celebration they become days of reflection. Days to remember what once was, and even what we dreamt for together.

Don’t get me wrong there are many good memories when I think about my daughter’s short life. These good memories are mingled in with some painful moments as well. It’s a mixed bag.

Tough Questions
Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

Our last picture as a family together before Hannah moved to heaven

I find that from time to time I want to ask, “Why?” “Why, Lord?” Why did this happen?” “Where were you in the midst of it all?”

I realize although these questions are inevitable, they are not good questions to focus on. The Lord was definitely with us in the midst of it all, even though it didn’t always seem like it. He has assured me of that, and he has said that he will never leave me nor forsake me. I believe those words are true.

The why questions are harder.

I’m not sure if the Lord will ever fully answer that question this side of heaven. We live in a broken world marred by sin. All of creation groans until the day of redemption. We are not the only ones who are crying out to the Lord as we grieve. We groan and we wait for the redemption as Romans 8:22-23 states.

Good Memories, Longing for More

On these days I find it harder to reflect on the good memories of Hannah. I’m not sure why? As I write this, I’m processing and in a sense thinking out loud. There are many good memories, but I think I just miss her so much, so even the good memories cause an ache of sorts.

My son, David wrote a wonderful reflection about his sister today. He shares many positive memories he has of Hannah. Although I cried as I read it, I found it encouraging. It’s worth checking out, My Little Sister.

I often think of King David after his young son died. David said he will not return to me, but one day I will go to him. That’s my hope to see my savior face to face and to see my daughter again one day.

The Lord is My Rock!
Dave with Hannah - My beautiful daughter that I love

Dave with Hannah – My beautiful daughter that I love. We had a special relationship. I do miss her so much.

Thank you, Lord, that you are near the broken hearted. You are with my family and me in our pain. You are carrying us through the valley of the shadow of death. You have a purpose, and it is a good purpose even if I don’t understand it.

When I reflect and think about our life and our grief it always comes back to our rock. He’s the rock of our salvation!

For some reason, this reminds me that a dear friend today, who I love encouraged me to be strong. In some instances, it could be hurtful to say something like that, but as I read those words I felt loved. I started to cry as I read those words, because I know the friend that wrote them loves Dawn and me, and that they look up to us. They want to encourage us.

Also, I realize that being strong doesn’t mean that I don’t cry, or that I don’t get sad or mourn. It means that even though “my world” may be falling apart around me that I keep my eyes on Jesus. He’s my rock. He lifts me up. He says that when I am weak then I am strong! I rejoice in my refuge in whom I run to in times of need.

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me, for loving my family in the midst of all the pain, and what at times even seems like hell on earth. Yet, this is temporary. It will soon pass!

“For this momentary affliction is peparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparision, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17,18 ESV)

Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and I thank you for going on this journey with us. It’s not an easy one, so thank you for staying with us through all the ups and downs. God is good! So Good!!

The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church

We are excited to build the church in Hannah’s memory this week. Please pray for us as we make the final preparations and work with our friends at Ministerios Transformación to see this new church bring the light of Christ into a community filled with many needs.

In His Loving Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Ministerios Transformación Terrazas
Pastor Mario Perez and his wife, Mara

Pastor Mario Perez and his wife, Mara

God is on the move in Tijuana, and working through churches like Ministerios Transformación Terrazas.

The Lord richly blessed our time with Pastor Mario Perez and his wife, Mara and their congregation in the community of Terrazas.

God’s Healing Work
Dave enjoying preaching and exhorting the church

Dave enjoying preaching and exhorting the church

Dawn, Hannah and I first began spending time with Mario and Mara a year ago. Three years ago they lost their 8 year old daughter. It’s been an extremely painful journey for them as they go through healing themselves while ministering to others. Yet, we do see God showing up and ministering to them in deep ways.

As they experience God’s loving touch they are able to pass on the blessing to others. We are glad that we’ve been able to be a part of the healing process as we join them on their journey.

This Sunday the church was full of life. It’s always an encouragement, a blessing to preach in the church of friends like Mario and to see the Lord show up in a special way.

The people responded as their eyes lit up while they listened to the message of the gospel. Christ makes us whole. He gives us an identity and a purpose. We all need hope in this world that is filled with darkness. Yet God’s love shines through!

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 ESV)

Prayer & the Hope of Revival
Hannah and Dawn praying for one of the women in the church

Hannah and Dawn praying for one of the women in the church

After the sermon many came up for prayer. Dawn and Hannah were able to join me in praying for the people. It always fills my heart to see the Lord work through my wife and my daughter!

I believe the Lord is going to use the Terrazas church and many others like it to start a revival fire in Tijuana that will affect the nation of Mexico. God desires to touch the people of TJ and Mexico in a special way. We want to be part of His powerful work.

Pray that it will be so! God do you transformative work, Hallelujah.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

 

Joy Comes in the Morning!
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving – From the Diaso family enjoying a wonderful meal with friends and giving thanks for his bountiful love and care

I love the focus on giving Thanks during Thanksgiving. It’s something that I need to practice more often.

This week as I was thinking and praying for friends, ministry and life in general the Lord brought to mind a verse from the Psalms. Joy comes with the morning is the phrase that Psalms 30:5 ends with.

For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. —Psalm 30:5 ESV

Part of the reason this verse struck me is that this has been one of the most difficult years I’ve been through. We’ve seen much fruit, there’s much to be thankful for, but we’ve also endured some personal hardships. Trials that have affected our family and our ministry.

God Uses Trials for our Good
The Sunset on the Pacific - near Cabo San Lucas

Sunset on the Pacific

I feel like the Lord is giving me a glimpse of how he is working these trials for good as he promises in Romans 8:28. I’m hopeful that things are going to be even better than they were, because the Lord is pruning us and bringing his healing touch. We are going through the refiner’s fire.

The trials and tribulations aren’t enjoyable, but I’m grateful that they aren’t haphazard. The Lord has a divine purpose for all the things that happen in our lives.

Job is often referred to when one thinks of suffering. He suffered more than most, and God used it to build into Job’s life. Even thought Job’s wife and friends didn’t understand Job stayed true to his faith in the Lord.

Job said, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” —Job 23:10

Even though I don’t enjoy the trials of life, I give thanks for God’s good purposes. I’m thankful for his promises. The Lord is at work, refining us, giving us hope and even joy.

Rejoice

Rejoice with me friends for all God is doing, and for his wonderful promises. If your night looks dark, remember that joy comes with the morning!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

The Fascination with Life on the Border

Living and working on the border is a fascinating experience. I love learning more about this part of the world. It’s past and present while looking to the future.

Today I read an article about a Tijuana born singer, Ceci Bastida. The article was written to promote her latest album, La edad de la violencia, The Age of Violence. The album was influenced by all the violence in the United States and Mexico over the last several years. She says she remains hopeful, but with all the news she felt at times like she was living in the most violent era ever.

You can read the article here… There is also an interview along with some of her music.

Ceci Bastida – Music with Commentary

What do you think about what she has to say? Do you at times feel like we are living in the most violent age ever? The media can make it seem like we are.

I’m thankful for the hope that we have in Christ. Also, the problems in the world are a reminder that we are not in heaven yet.

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. —Romans 8:22-25 ESV

Thank you Jesus for the hope you give us in this world filled with many trials and violence. You are the King and ruler over all. You are with us through our trials and you give us hope for a better tomorrow!

In His Grip, Dave
DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Inconsistency in Living an Incongruent Life
Dave, Hannah and Dawn

Dave, Hannah and Dawn

Sometimes I find myself feeling a little more contemplative. This is one of those times. I suppose the trials that we’ve been going through which I wrote about in my last post is to blame.

I’ve been thinking about how we may understand a theological concept or a truth of the Bible, yet struggle to live out this truth. It seems inconsistent to believe one thing, but then to act in another way. I confess this is one of my struggles.

Lately I’ve been struggling with trusting God in his sovereignty. I believe that GOD Sovereignly rules over the universe. God reigns and rules over his creation. Since God is good and loving this should bring me peace and comfort. For the most part it does.

My Doubts – My Struggles
The Sunset on the Pacific - near Cabo San Lucas

The man who doubts is like the waves of the sea

At times though I have my doubts. I think of a decision I made which seemed the best at the time, but later I realize it wasn’t a good decision. Then I feel guilt, maybe even condemnation. My wife reminds me, “Dave, God is sovereign, good and loving and we can look to him and trust him in this!”

I’m the one with the theological degree, but my wife’s faith exceeds my own.

I strive to be consistent with my beliefs and actions, but I fail. I’m grateful for the gospel and I’m grateful for God’s grace. I need it daily.

Romans 8:28 is a popular passage that is abused at times, but it is true and it should bring comfort to the believer.  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)

The Heavenly Father Wants to Give us Good Gifts

If we doubt God’s goodness Matthew 7 is a good passage to remind us of how we compare to God.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 ESV, emphasis mine)

Jesus is arguing from the lesser to the greater. If we being evil desire to give good gifts to our children, how much more will the all loving God care for us?

Not only does God care, but he is a loving and a forgiving God. Romans 8:1 reminds us that Christ was condemned on our behalf, so I no longer am condemned. Those that are in Christ are not condemned. O Lord, that I would grow in my faith and love you more!

Thanks For Your Prayers!

Thanks so much for holding our family up in prayer. Things are getting better – that’s where I struggle to trust, but it’s also where I see The Lord show up and rescue us in our hour of need.

In His Grip, Dave

Diasolifeontheborder.org