Archive for June, 2012

Dave with Brian Peterson

Dave with Brian Peterson

This week Dawn and I saw Brian and Anna Peterson at Sierra View Presbyterian Church. You might remember that Anna’s life hung in the balance due to complications while giving birth. She went into a coma, and it was touch and go for her for a few weeks.

Their testimony is very encouraging. I think when our city, Colorado Springs is burning we need words of encouragement! God is doing some wonderful things!

Dawn and I had coffee with Brian and he shared more about all that the Lord did in saving Anna and caring for their family. He told us that he preached a sermon from Psalm 66 titled, “Come and See What God has Done.”

“Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.’ Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.”

— Psalm 66:3-5 (ESV)

God truly did an awesome deed in sparing the life of Anna!

One of the doctors who is not a believer said, he didn’t know what to do when treating Anna. It was a difficult case. Most people who meet the complications that Anna faced don’t live through it. The doctor in desperation put his hands up in the air and cried out, “God help me.” He later told Brian and Anna that everything began to run smoothly and efficiently. He gave testimony to God answering his prayer.

Anna’s sister-in-law was getting up to 50,000 hits a day on her blog as she posted updates and prayer requests. Many people were pleading to the Lord that he would help the doctors and nurses and heal Anna. God did hear these requests.

It’s such a wonderful testimony of God working through his church, and through the medical staff.

I grew up in Fresno so we have long ties to Sierra View. We are thankful for the many friends that we’ve known over the years. This church is an important partner with us in our ministry. Brian has done a great job leading the church, and we’ve enjoyed getting to know them.

I know God doesn’t always answer in the way he did with Brian and Anna, but it sure is worth celebrating when he does. He obviously doesn’t always heal, but he intervened in their life in a powerful way. People around the globe came together to lift them up in prayer! God answered! Praise be the Lord!

Anna recently shared her testimony at a church. It was recorded and shared on YouTube. The quality of the recording isn’t great, but her story is truly amazing! She shares that there was more than one time she could have died, and that most people with her condition do. Yet God in his mercy rescued her from the valley of the shadow of death.

You can watch it here:

How awesome are your deeds, O Lord!

In His Grip, David

Pray for Colorado and for Colorado Springs

Pray for Colorado and for Colorado Springs

You may have seen the alarming news that Colorado Springs is on fire! We never thought the city we live in would get caught in such a big fire.

Friends of ours have already lost their homes, and others have been displaced. Those displaced face the possibility of losing their home, and in the meantime they need to find another place to live.

This photo was taken from Tom Graham's house as they were leaving at 4:30 PM on Tuesday

Photo taken from Tom Graham’s house as they were leaving at 4:30 PM on Tuesday

One of our friends that’s been displaced is Tom Graham. Tom has been a mentor to me over the last 12 years, and he has been one of the most influential people in my life during that time. It’s sad to see such dear friends going through this. Now all they can do is wait and pray, hoping their home will be saved.

We live on the east side of Colorado Springs, and the fire is on the west side, so at this point our home isn’t in danger.

We do need prayer! Prayer for the city, and all those affected by the fire.

It’s important to remember during these times that God is greater than the storms that life brings. My daughter, Hannah just posted this quote on her Facebook page,

“Don’t tell God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is.”

That’s a great reminder to all of us. Keep your eyes on the Lord.

Psalm 46 offers us great comfort and encouragement. The subtitle for the Psalm is, God is Our Fortress.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though the waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when the morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

— Psalm 46:1-7 (ESV)

It’s so important to remember where are peace comes from. Who are rescuer is. This is an opportunity for us to trust in the Lord, as I wrote about recently.

This is taken from the Chapel Hills Mall - on the north part of the city

This is taken from the Chapel Hills Mall – on the north part of the city

We cry out to the Lord for help! Please rescue our city. Deliver our friends and our homes. Stop the blazing fires. Change the direction of the wind. Comfort our friends who are displaced. Comfort them as they wonder if they still have a home. Draw people to yourself during this fiery trial.

Our church, Village Seven Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs has started a web-link for information on how you can help. Tonight the church called a prayer meeting to plead with God for His mercy to save our city. Here’s the link for more info on ways you can help –

Here’s a link with some news on the evacuations, and some updates on the fire – Waldo Canyon fire. This article captures some of emotion in the Springs – Firestorm of Epic Proportions.

Dawn and I are in California we fly back to Colorado on Thursday. Pray that we are able to get to Colorado without any complications. David, Jon and Hannah are home. We look to the Lord for their safety.

Wow, what a hot and crazy summer! Thanks for caring, and praying with us.

In His Grip, Dave

Fresno High School

Fresno High School

This weekend Dawn and I enjoyed the opportunity to see a number of old friends at my 35th Fresno High School reunion. Where did all the years go!?!

I read once that one of the main reasons people to reunions is see what their old friends look like. To see what those that maybe were the athletic or the brainy people or even the socially awkward, what do they look like now. I must admit it is fascinating to see how well, or not so well people have aged.

What I liked most was connecting with old friends. It was great to find out what people are up to, and how many kids they have. What’s going on in their family?

Dave leading friends at reunion in prayer before the dinner

Dave leading friends at reunion in prayer before the dinner

I also enjoy the opportunity to share my faith in Christ. Since some of my friends help organize the reunion, and they know I’m a minister they always ask me to pray before the meal. This alone is an opportunity to touch people’s lives in a small way. Then since I’m able to do that many will approach me and ask me more about my work and ministry. This gives me some great opportunities!

It’s also wonderful to meet friends from school that love Jesus. To hear more about their stories. Wow, I’m so grateful for God’s amazing work in the life of many of my classmates! Many now profess Christ as their savior. I pray that at the next reunion there would be even more who bend the knee.

When I think of what the Lord has done and is doing in the life of my friends it gives me hope. There are people who I wouldn’t have thought would give their lives to Christ that now have strong faith, and are living for the Lord.

“O Lord, please do continue your work in the life on my friends. You are our best and only hope for everlasting joy. Work in my heart as well, that I will be a good witness of your care and enduring love for us. No greater love is there than to give your life for another, which Christ has done for us. Christ defeated sin, death and satan on the cross and through His resurrection. Amen.”

If you are one of my friends that was at the reunion and you are reading this, “I enjoyed seeing you again, and look forward to the next opportunity. Thanks for coming and being part of a good time. Keep the faith, and don’t lose hope no matter what dips and turns life may take for you.”

In His Grip, Dave

The fist is taking a risk - you could say it's an act of faith

The fish is taking a risk – you could say it’s an act of faith

I’ve been thinking recently of how easy it is for me to become fearful rather than to live by faith. Fear is a common problem, and I’ve seen even people who I consider to be strong and courageous leaders succumb to fear. In part, the issue is focusing on the wrong thing.

When we are fearful we are focusing on the problem, the issue at hand. We begin to wonder how, and if we can overcome this obstacle? Yet, God calls us to be men and women of faith. He rewards faith, not fear. One of my favorite verses that I quote almost daily is 2 Timothy 1:7,

“We have not been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and sound mind.”

I get frustrated with fear, because I think, well I don’t fear speaking in front of people as much as I once did. I can see God’s given me more confidence. Yet there are times when I can get really down, because I’m focusing on the problem instead of the problem solver. The ultimate problem solver.

Our difficulties are simple things for the Lord, but He is using them. He is committed to making us and molding us to be more and more like Christ. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith for us,

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”

When you think of it when we live by fear instead of faith we harm ourselves. Stress and anxiety are a result of fear. These fears eat away at our bodies and they keep our doctors busy.

Dave & Dawn Diaso

My prayer is that each day I will focus more and more on the being a man of faith. Truly believing in God and His promises. This is hugely important as I seek to be a good father and husband as well a leader. “O Lord, I have so far to go, but you are faithful even when I am faithless.”

“I do pray that you would help my unbelief.”

“Lord, when we face trials and obstacles in life I pray that we will turn to you in faith. Please do increase my faith. Increase the faith of my wife, my sons and my daughter. Increase the faith of my friends and colleagues. Increase the faith of your church. O that we would live each day, each moment by faith.”

In His Grip, Dave

On the US side getting ready to cross into Nogales, Mexico

On the US side getting ready to cross into Nogales, Mexico

Dawn and I enjoyed a great time in Tucson and Nogales with the three couples we are in conversation with about the possibility of joining our team on the San Diego – Tijuana border. We didn’t know them real well before we met with them, but the Lord blessed. It was encouraging to get to know them better, and we love their hearts desire to serve the Lord.

We thought that we would be able to get through our meetings and get back to Phoenix in the same day. Wrong! I’m not always very realistic when it comes to assessing how long it will take to meet with people. Dawn and I love connecting with people, and it’s a positive thing when we end up spending more time with them. Ministry flows out of relationships.

At about 11 PM we finished our “cena” (evening meal) and our time together. This prompted us to decide it was probably better to spend the night in Nogales. Even though we didn’t bring any extra clothes we managed! It also gave us more time to “convivir” (to live with) our friends.

It was a wonderful time. Dawn and I left so encouraged! If I could bottle that feeling and sell it I’d be a rich man.

On the Mexican Border

On the Mexican Border

We don’t know what the Lord will do. Yet there are some things we do know. God has a heart to reach the city, and the nations, but the timing and the how are unknown. It’s comforting that God is a good God, and He holds all of these things in His hands. They are simple for Him. Silly putty.

Dawn and I continue to look to Jesus and pray, “Lord, bring us workers. You told us the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. You exhorted your disciples to pray for workers, so we ask you to send your servants to work in the harvest field (in this case San Diego and Tijuana) for your glory! Amen.”

Thanks again for praying with us.

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Tomorrow morning we head off to Fresno for my high school reunion, and to connect with a number of family and friends.

Mexico Border Crossing

Mexico Border Crossing

Today is a big day for us!

We are driving from Phoenix to Tucson to meet with an American couple who are exploring God’s call on their life. Together we are looking at whether our team on the San Diego – Tijuana border is a good fit for them.

Then Dawn and I will drive down to Nogales, Mexico, cross into Mexico on foot and meet with two Mexican couples who are also looking at their ministry options.

As we talk to these three couples today, we will take the opportunity to get to know them better, dream a little and see if the vision we have for ministry on the border is similar. Is God calling us to work together?

We are praying that the Lord of the harvest will raise up workers. That He will bring us the right people. We are also praying that He will keep us from inviting the wrong people to work with us.

Have big dreams and don't live on the safe side!

Dream Big – don’t live on the safe side! Come check out our team!

It is exciting to have people looking with us at what God might have for the San Diego – Tijuana border. The needs there are huge. We know that the Lord has big plans for the border. “O Lord, do a mighty work through your people in San Diego – Tijuana. Be glorified and exalted as your church and your kingdom expand!”

Thanks for standing with us in prayer. I always appreciate extra prayer when we go into Mexico. We love the country. We love the border. It’s become a much safer place, yet we don’t want to be naïve to the schemes of our adversary, the evil one.

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Wanted to give a shout out to my dad, Ron Diaso. It’s his birthday today. I will see my mom and dad on Friday. Love you dad!

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.

Pastor Leo (far right) & Luis sharing with Marvin

Pastor Leo (far right) & Luis sharing with Marvin

It was so encouraging to be with Pastor Leo Nevarez, and to hear him tell his story. Addicted to drugs and strung out, he was headed in the wrong direction. God in His grace reached out and redeemed him out of that lifestyle.

He married Gloria and neither he nor his wife knew Christ. They were struggling as a young family, and headed down the wrong path. Someone invited them to church, and they said they were going to have Birria (a spicy Mexican meat stew). He thought well I don’t really want to go to church, but I’ll go for the Birria.

He and his wife went, and they liked the church. God gripped their hearts, and they came to Christ. Interesting the things God uses to draw people to himself.

Now the Lord uses pastor Leo’s background in drugs to minister in the community. He can tell when someone has a drug problem, and he knows how to love on these people. Even while I was out sharing with him and the evangelism team he found a small bag of crystal meth. He opened it up and poured it out on the street, stomping on it.

He said there were a lot of addicts that live in the community around the church. As we walked the streets I could tell that he had a keen sense as to whether the young people we talked to were into drugs or not.

As I shared in my last post when we went out pastor Leo and Luis had the chance to minister to Marvin, who was high on something. Marvin was ripe fruit. He was ready to receive help.

Isn’t it great how the Lord uses our broken past for His glory?

Here’s a short video clip on the Harbor – Lo Mejor Del Trigo church plant in Rosarito. Thrilled to see all the joy expressed in this new work:

Praise God for His great work in the City!

In His Grip, Dave

Our group in Rosarito that went out to share the good news!

Our group in Rosarito that went out to share the good news!

We started our time with Pastor Leo Nevarez in Rosarito with some great tacos. Always a good way to kick off the afternoon.

Then we went back to the church, Lo Mejor Del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) in Rosarito, Mexico. Pastor Daniel Nuñez’s son, Daniel Jr. brought an evangelism team to work with us. Our group consisted of 15 people. Two stayed back at the church and prayed while we hit the streets to share the gospel.

One of the guys with us had a megaphone, and he used it to preach as we walked through the streets near the church. I wasn’t expecting a megaphone, but it seemed like the Lord used our motley crew for His glory!

A number of the guys that went out with us had been drug addicts. Jesus has radically changed their lives, and now they are giving testimony to the Lord. You wouldn’t know by looking at them that they had struggled with an addiction. They were radiant. It encouraged my soul to see their boldness and faithfulness.

We made our way to a park where we had the opportunity to talk to a number of people. Pastor Leo and I talked to a couple of older men, and then some younger guys. I enjoyed the opportunity to share the gospel, to sow seed with Leo and his people.

Pastor Leo & Luis sharing with Marvin

Pastor Leo & Luis sharing with Marvin

While we were at the park, one of the guys with us, Luis, met Marvin. Marvin looked like he was strung out on drugs. He traveled from Honduras and was trying to cross the border. Luis also had once been an addict, so he knew how to connect with Marvin. Marvin responded to the gospel. He recognized his need for change. He agreed to go with the group to a Christian rehabilitation center. So encouraging!

It thrills me to see the Lord touch a life, especially someone who is hurting so. I pray that many from Rosarito will respond to the call of the gospel. That many will place their faith in Christ.

This morning while reading Habakkuk 2, I came across this verse which describes our prayer and hearts desire for San Diego – Tijuana.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14

O Lord, we pray that you will bless, and we will see your glory in these days!

Dawn and I greatly appreciate your prayers, as we are involved in kingdom work we are invading Satan’s territory. When we are ministering in this way that the evil attacks us. After I came back from our time in Rosarito, I saw that someone hacked into my account and spent over $100 in iTunes. Now I’ve got to figure out how to get that fixed.

In His Grip, Dave