Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 103’

Growing Together - Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

Growing Together – Through the Course on The Keys to a Transformed Life

God is Taking Us Deeper

Over the last two weeks God has drawn us deeper. Dawn, Hannah and I have been going through a workshop on Keys to a Transformed Life. What’s made it extra special was that we were able to take our missionary colleagues Peter & Jenny Boling and Jim DeWitt. Four pastors from Tijuana and four church leaders from Ensenada also went with us.

2 Keys – Forgiveness & Repentance
Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Pastor Jaime Avila, Pastor Mario Perez and Pastor Ivan Casados with Calvin Anderson & Jeinny Escorcia

Two of the keys we spent a lot of time focusing on were forgiveness and repentance. These are bedrock Christian disciplines. On the one hand, they are very basic to our faith. On the other hand, we often struggle to put them in practice.

We don’t like to admit that we are wrong. Our pride gets in the way. Yet forgiveness and repentance bring healing. God’s grace meets us at our place of weakness.

Luther said that all of life is repentance.

The Benefits of Confession

James speaks of the benefits of confession, even confessing to one another. A Christian practice that has mostly been lost on the church today.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭15-16‬ ESV)

I can’t say that it is easy to open up and share about areas where we are wounded, but it is freeing when accompanied with forgiveness and repentance.

Turn to the father. He promises to remove our sin as far as the east is from the west. Learn of the father’s love for you.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he removes our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭103‬:‭8-13‬ ESV)

The Keys to a Transformed Life

Our Group – The Keys to a Transformed Life

It’s all part of the upside down kingdom. Where we see a flaunting of sin in the world, God calls us to repent. In many ways that word, repent, seems old an antiquated today. It sounds harsh, and yet it is what the Lord chooses to bring us healing and wholeness. God ministers to us through confession and repentance.

Also when we are willing to forgive those who have wronged us, we receive God’s healing touch. It is freeing to forgive. Jesus taught us to pray asking our Heavenly Father, “to forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.… For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:12, 14, 15)

That may be a hard passage, but it’s a wonderful promise. Forgiveness is an amazing gift that the Lord offers us. Come and receive his many gifts!

In His Grip, Dave




Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

Dave and Dawn with Rodrigo, Nancy and Luz

The Gospel Shines Brightly

Earlier this week Dawn and I met with pastor Rodrigo Vallarta and his wife, Nancy. They lead a Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Best of the Wheat) church in eastern Tijuana. The area of the city is called Pípila.

It was so encouraging to meet with them, and to learn how the Lord was providing for them.

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about their church, and I listed some of the needs they had as a prayer request. Click here… to see that post and those requests.

The Lord’s Awesome Answers

God has provided in wonderful ways for Rodrigo, Nancy and the church.

  1. The local church was able to pull together and put some bars on the windows for security, since it had been broken into and it wasn’t safe to leave things of value in the church.
  2. God reminded Rodrigo of a dentist in Tijuana that told another pastor friend that he would be willing to treat people who didn’t have the means to pay. Nancy went to the dentist this past Wednesday. We are anxious to find out how that went! She still suffered through tremendous pain for more than a month.
  3. Some items were also donated to the pastor and the church: a car, a computer and the funds to put in electricity at the church site.
Rejoice in His Provision

Sometimes we pray, but forget to thank God when he answers. I want to make sure everyone knows, and ask you to rejoice with us in how the Lord marvelously provided for them!

David reminds us in Psalms 103:2 (ESV)

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

Family Outreach in Pípila
Nancy & Dawn - We are praying the Dentist visit will take care of the pain Nancy has had, and bring healing.

Nancy & Dawn – We are praying the Dentist visit will take care of the pain Nancy has had, and bring healing.

Tomorrow (Saturday) a group of us from Harbor are going to partner with the church in Pípila to do an outreach in the community. We are going to have a number of fun activities for children, and then a meal for the families that come. There are 20 of us that are going on the trip.

Friends from the church in Pípila are already messaging me, and letting me know how excited they are that we are coming. When Dawn and I met with Rodrigo and Nancy on Tuesday, Rodrigo said he was thrilled that we were coming so soon after we helped start the church last November.

Rodrigo also told me that the church is growing. God is moving in the community. We pray that this outreach will help them to further their reach.

Join us in Prayer

Join us in prayer that the Lord uses the fun activities and Bible stories to help the church make a positive impact in the community of Pípila. It’s a wonderful way to get the word out, and to make more people aware that the church is there. A city set on a hill. We are also praying that we will be an encouragement to the people in the church. How pleasant it is when the brothers dwell together in unity!

In His Grip, Dave

Pastor Leo Nevarez and his wife, Gloria

Pastor Leo Nevarez and his wife, Gloria

God has done some amazing things in the Rosarito church plant. Every time I talk to pastor Leo Nevarez I come away encouraged.

Harbor partnered with Lo Mejor del Trigo to build the new church in May of 2012. A friend in Phoenix suggested that I introduce Leo to the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) ministry which is right near Leo’s church in Rosarito.

Leo and his wife, Gloria have developed a close relationship with YWAM. They’ve begun to minister in the community together. It’s a wonderful example of kingdom work.

On January 19th YWAM is going to help Leo add-on to their present church, so that they can have more space to minister to children from the community. The Lord is doing a good work as these ministries come together in seeking to be a blessing in the community.

Pastor Leo & Gloria with Vicente & Billy with Dave in the middle

Pastor Leo & Gloria, Vicente & Billy with Dave in the middle

Earlier this last summer someone read a blog post I had written about the homeless in Rosarito. God moved them to contact Leo, and they’ve begun to help to reach out. They donated 200 backpacks to children, so that they could carry their books to school. Then they gave some land that the church is hoping to use as a drug rehab center. The Lord uses things like this to bring about change.

I praise the Lord with Leo and Gloria as God’s blessings keep rolling down.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

–Psalm 103:1-5 (ESV)

Lord, continue to encourage Leo and Gloria and their church as they reach out in their community, as they seek to make a difference for Christ.

In His Grip, Dave