Archive for December 2, 2011

Dr. Thomas Graham

Today is my birthday, so it puts me in a somewhat of a reflective mood. I do hope that as I get older I’m also getting wiser. This reminds me of some of the wise godly mentors that the Lord has given me.

In my last post I wrote about the tremendous value of giving thanks. One of the many things I have to give thanks for are the godly mentors that the Lord has brought into my life. Dr. William Iverson, and Dr. Thomas Graham have been a gift from God.

I worked with Dr. Graham for three years, and he’s been a valuable mentor since we landed in Colorado Springs 12 years ago. The Lord brought him into my life when we came off the mission field. Right after we left Mexico. Tom is one of the wisest, and most humble men I know. When we came off the field Dawn and I were going through a tough time, and I really needed a friend and mentor like Tom.

I still remember when we were struggling with whether to go back to Mexico or not, and Dawn wasn’t too keen on the idea. She was concerned about the security issues in Mexico City, since I had been kidnapped, and held up at gunpoint while we lived there. Tom said, “Dave you need to take the pressure off of Dawn about returning to Mexico.” I may have feared that was true, but it was hard for me to accept at the time. Those words came at the right time, and gave me the gentle nudge I needed to make the difficult decision to not to return to Mexico.

The Lord definitely spoke to me through Tom’s words of wisdom. There were many other thoughts and ideas that Tom shared with me that helped guide and shape me.

I remember I used to struggle a lot with performance anxiety. I had a hard time living in God’s grace, and felt like if I didn’t perform I was a failure. Or at least those were the fears I had. I told Tom that I felt like if I didn’t complete a project I was working on related to church planting in about a year that I would feel like a failure. He gently reminded me, “Well, that’s how you should feel if you are living with performance anxiety.” It was like, “O yeah, I guess I do still struggle with that, don’t I?”

Dave & Dawn

I will always be grateful for Tom mentoring me, and being my advisor in ministry and in my doctoral studies in Missiology. Although I don’t use my title much. Dr. Diaso seems too formal in this informal culture we live in. I value the things I learned as I studied. I remember often thinking, “wow, I wish I would have known this when I was on the mission field!”

Hopefully, now that Dawn and I are going back to the front lines, on the border, I can apply the many lessons I’ve learned from Dr. Thomas Graham.

Thank you – Tom!

In His Grip, Dave