Journal Entries
Every weekday you will find a journal entry here from someone different in our church family. 
 
Click the scripture title and scroll down to see a comments section where you can ask questions, share insights and post your own SOUL Journal entry for the day!
 

Mark 9

Scripture
 

Mark 9:35-37-

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” 36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus reproved (corrected) His disciples after they were arguing with one another about who was the greatest. He told them that whoever wants to be first, must be a servant and used children to illustrate His point.
 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Jesus loves the little children.

I think it’s interesting how Jesus parallels humility and servanthood with children. There are other accounts in Scripture where Jesus had to correct His disciples on their view of children. Actually, the next chapter, Mark 10, shows another example of it.

 

Life Application

Serve with me and Jen in Kids Church!

We must see and value children the way Jesus does. There is power in a child’s prayer, worship and praise (Psalm 8:2). Jesus also uses children to exemplify how we are to accept the Kingdom of God. (Mark 10:15)

Why not be part of investing in the lives of our kids, not just at home, but also in our family at DSC?

 

-Michelle Gaddi



Mark__8

Scripture

Mark‬ ‭8:11‬ ‭

“When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Jesus had just finished feeding 4,000 men with only seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. Immediately after that, Jesus and his disciples went on a boat, and crossed over to the region of Dalmanutha. There he was met by Pharisees who argued with Jesus and demanded that Jesus show them a miraculous sign to prove His authority. This troubled Jesus’ spirit. Why were these people always demanding a miraculous sign? So Jesus told them that he would not give their generation any such sign. Jesus then got back into the boat and left them to cross to the other side of the lake.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Some people say they must see to believe. But for a Christ Follower, you should believe, then you will see.
 
The Pharisees were jealous and had hardened hearts towards Jesus. They were constantly challenging Jesus and his authority and just waiting for the chance for Jesus to slip so they could pounce on him. They were too busy following religious traditions, waiting for their Messiah, when the actual Messiah was right underneath their noses all this time. Keep in mind that before arriving at Dalmanutha that day, Jesus had already been performing many miracles everywhere he went. He fed the thousands with just a few fish and loaves of bread (twice). He healed the lame and blind. He even casted out demons. Yet this wasn’t enough for the Pharisees. They wanted to see more! Let’s face it, no matter what miracle Jesus performed or how many more He performed wouldn’t change these Pharisees minds. Their hearts were hardened, and they wanted to bring Jesus down. The Pharisees were unwilling to take that step of faith and believe in Jesus and what He taught, therefore they did not see.
 
“Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”” John‬ ‭20:29‬ ‭
 
Life Application
 
Take that leap of faith. See what God can do!
 
Don’t get caught up waiting to see the next miracle before you decide to believe. You may miss out. Instead, I encourage you to take that next step. Trust in Jesus. Trust in His Word. See what God can do!
 
Father God, I pray for people who are struggling with their faith, struggling to believe. I pray for You to soften their hearts. I pray for their courage to believe. Whether it’s some financial hardship, health issue, relationship issue, family worries, or just a straight up faith issue. God, I pray that they would lift up all their concerns and worries up to You. May they put complete trust in You. May You reveal Yourself to them. Open their hearts and their eyes so that they may see all You have in store for them when they follow You. May you bless them with Your peace, comfort, and strength Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Mark 7

Scripture  

Mark 7:32-35 

They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him.  Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva; and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!”  And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.

 

Observation-What does it say?

In this chapter of Mark, he discusses tradition of religion and the idea of uncleanliness of the heart, as well as accepting “unclean” people.  He wraps up the chapter with the miraculous healing of a mute and deaf man.  Throughout the gospels, there are more than 30 miracles recorded, many of which were healing of people afflicted with chronic or debilitating pains, some were even brought back from death.  Each healing or miracle was done in somewhat of a special way.  In this particular healing Jesus gives the deaf man a wet willy and spits in his mouth.  Once, while healing a blind man, Jesus spits on the ground to make mud, then he puts the mud on the eyes of the blind man and tells him to wash it off (John 9).  He healed another blind man by spitting directly in his eyes (Mark 8).  And yet, two other blind men he healed by simply touching their eyes (Matthew 9).  Through his healings and miracles, Jesus fulfilled prophecies about him.  “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.  Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.  Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5-6).  Not only did he heal physically, but he also heals us in the same ways spiritually.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

I remember being in the hospital after my first bad car accident when I was 18 year old.  After almost killing myself, I have a handful of very vague and fuzzy memories from the next week.  The first one being in my car, upside down, and realizing that I was hurt pretty badly.  The next one, I was trying to spell out someone’s name using my hands because I couldn’t talk.  There were a few others, but none of them really important enough to hold onto.  However, one memory that I will never forget, no matter how drugged I was, is the moment when they removed the tubes that had been feeding me and helping me breathe.  From a week of nearly all darkness, I remember coming out of the fog to someone telling me to try to swallow.  The next thing I know, it felt as if someone were ripping my stomach through my mouth, while punching me in the throat and cleaning my sinuses with acid all at the same time.  But, once the tubes were removed, it felt as if I were breathing for the first time.  It was both freeing and painful at the same time, like when you jump into an icy stream in the mountains.  

This feeling is what I would imagine it was like to be miraculously healed.  After having spent their whole lives on mats, without sight or hearing, or with disfigured limbs, the people who were healed by Jesus were thrown into a life of full mobility in an instant, using muscles they had never used.  A feeling I imagine to be both freeing and painful, at the same time.  When God sets us on the path of healing, he can do it in many ways, whether it be spiritually or physically.  Either way, as we experience his power of healing, we will come to realize the power of his greatness in comparison to our weakness and brokenness.  A difference that can at times cause us to grieve.  But, when we are made complete in heaven, we will no longer experience the pain of this life (Revelation 21:3-5).  Our experience on earth will be seen from the perspective that it was the path that led us to a relationship with God.


Life Application 

Jesus, heal the blindness in my heart and allow me to see every day as important in my journey to you.  Heal my deaf spirit and allow me to shout your great name to those around me.  Forgive me for the times I have been ashamed of your name.  Help me to share your story of healing.
 
-Tyler Galloway          


Psalm_72

Scripture  
 
Psalm 72:1-4 
 
1 Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s son.  2 May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice. 3 Let the mountains bring [e]peace to the people, And the hills, in righteousness. 4 May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor
.
Observation-What does it say?   
 
This psalm is a prayer for the King Solomon.  It may have been the prayer at the coronation ceremony, when he attained the throne from his father, David.  The prayer expresses characteristics of the ideal king, and looks forward to the reign of Jesus, the perfect king.  In the beginning of the prayer, we see a plea for the king’s righteousness, that he may reflect God. The prayer also expresses the desire of enduring righteousness, that people would benefit from the king’s wisdom.
  
Understanding-What does it mean? 
 
It’s easy to get caught up in the speed of life, especially in Southern California.  In this age of instant information, we are constantly being bombarded with messages of the newest trends and of the newest life changing product.  Amidst all the new, is the pressure to keep up with the times. I can’t even tell you how often I get made fun of for having an “old” phone (iPhone SE, looks like the 5 but is actually newer).  It’s not like I am dragging around a rotary phone. As a byproduct of the pressure to keep up, we are often looking at situations in the light of how it will benefit us and help us keep up. And the question of “What’s in it for me?” looms in the back of our mind.

I am very guilty of this in my work environment.  There are many instances where I look at what I am doing and try to figure out how it will make me look for promotions, and special assignments.  The people I come into contact with become statistics, instead of people, and the problems they are encountering become statistics, instead of life events.  So, work becomes about the bottom line of promotion and accolade, instead of a way to serve people or as an act of worship to God.  

My paradigm is in need of a shift.  Scripture tells us that our focus should be on bringing worship to God.  In Colossians 3:23-24 Paul writes, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”  To the Galatians he writes, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (6:8-10). In other places, we find that God’s will for our lives is to be content with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6-10), and to serve widows and orphans (James 1:27).

Life Application 
 
Jesus, help me to carry the example of King Solomon into my work.  Help me to put the needs of others before my own. Let me act in a way as to protect the dignity of the afflicted, and serve those who are struggling.  Most of all, give me a heart of worship. Let all the works of my hands bring you glory. May you increase and I decrease.    
 
-Tyler Galloway


Psalm_71

Scripture

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭71:15‬ ‭‬‬

“I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
In this psalm David is already old and gray. He continues to call out to God in his times of need. David’s enemies are now plotting against him. His enemies think that God has abandoned him. But David continues to trust in God and God’s faithfulness, strength, and protection. God has been with him since birth. Why would God abandon him now? David’s faith is in God, and he is willing to tell everyone about how great and awesome God is.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
David the evangelist???
 
When we hear the word evangelist, we think of people like Billy Graham or Greg Laurie. But reading this passage reminded me that King David was an evangelist in his own right too.
 
“My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long.”-‭‭Psalms‬ ‭71:7-8‬
I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words. I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord. I will tell everyone that you alone are just. O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭71:15-17
 
Throughout the good times and even the bad times, David trusted God. Whether it was through songs of praise, or just words of affirmation, David was telling everyone about God’s saving power! Others may have looked at him as if he was crazy (especially when he was going through rough patches) when he was constantly praising God, but David trusted and knew firsthand of God’s faithfulness. His life was an example of it! Now he wants the whole world to know about the awesome God he serves.
 
Life Application
 
Share with others what God has done in your life.
 
David wasn’t shy about sharing God’s love and faithfulness with others. He was constantly reminding others of God’s faithfulness. His life proved it to them! In the same way, I feel led to do the same. I have a friend at work who I have been sharing with. I would tell him what the Bible says regarding God, and how to live our lives. But when I share about my personal relationship with Jesus, and how Jesus has changed my life, and what Jesus has done for me, that is what seems to get through to him. The personal stories and experiences make it more relatable for him to understand how knowing and trusting God can bring peace and joy in our lives. And knowing that God has given each of us our own stories and experiences to relate with others is what can help bring people to Christ. It’s a matter of us being bold and courageous to share with others the way David did. 😊
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


Mark__4

Scripture

Mark 4:38 

“Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

 

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus and his disciples just finished a long day of ministry . It was evening time, so Jesus and his disciples got in a boat, and began to cross to the other side of the lake. While they began to cross the lake, a fierce storm came. High waves were breaking into the boat, and began to fill it with water. The disciples began to panic. They rushed to get Jesus for help. They found Jesus sleeping at the back of the boat in the midst of this storm. So the disciples woke Jesus up, and shouted, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are going to drown?”

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Is there anyone else you would rather have in the boat with you during a storm?

Jesus’ disciples have witnessed first hand some of the amazing things Jesus had done. From casting out demon possessed people, to healing all sorts of people with various sicknesses and diseases. Jesus performed miracles! Why were His disciples panicking and so frantic on the boat as the storm hit? Did they suddenly forget who was on the boat with them?

 

Life Application

Seek Jesus first when life’s storms hit you.

We can poke fun and laugh at the disciples all we want about their lack of faith, but if we were to look at our own lives, aren’t we the same way sometimes? I know I am. I know Jesus has gotten me through so many things in life. From my struggles while in the Marines, to my bout with Bells Palsy, through my financial debt, to the healings of not only my physical ailments, but my family’s as well. Jesus continuously comes through! Yet, when the next “storm” in my life arrives, there I go again, worrying, panicking, and forgetting who is on the boat with me. It’s quite silly when I think about it. It’s like I have short term memory or something! It’s almost as if the enemy wants me to forget all those miracles Jesus did for me so that I would rely on other avenues to deal with it. Just one problem though…not one of those avenues lead to Jesus! And why should I try these other avenues in life to help me through these storms?..When I have Jesus in my life! He is the One who has always been faithful to me. It would be foolish of me to go any other way. Why try to fight these “storms” in life on my own, or with anything else?..Especially when I have the God of the universe on the boat with me, who has the power to do ALL things!

“When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”-Mark 4:39-41 

-Moses Gaddi

 



Mark_3

Scripture

Mark 3:30-35

30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

 

Observation– What does it say?

Jesus had just appointed his 12 disciples and entered a house where a crowd had gathered. During this time, he was accused by His natural family for being out of His mind (vs. 21) and accused by the teachers in the law for being possessed by the devil and drawing His power from an evil spirit. Jesus put them in their place and then pointed out who His true brothers and sisters were….they were the ones who did the will of God.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Jesus works in community.

Jesus’ community weren’t His natural family or the religious leaders of the time. His community were His 12 disciples and those who followed Him and listened to His teachings. His family and the church leaders of the time were actually the ones opposing Him!

 

Life Application

Love your brothers and sisters in the Lord and stay connected to the Body of Christ, especially to those who live Spirit filled lives.

Pastor Gary always says that a Christian without a Church family is a Contradiction. Putting God first on the throne of our lives is how we and the Body function in a healthy way. Here is what God’s Word says about loving the church (aka our brothers and sisters in Christ).

His Word says in 1 John 4:19-21, “We love because He first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

The church (we, the bride) are not perfect, but Jesus is! We must stay connected together and forgive, reconcile differences and not give up meeting together, even if it is with 1 or 2 people for coffee and prayer. We need each other as much as we need Him. Jesus functioned in community when He was on earth because He chose 12 disciples. He continues to function in community through the Trinity. Let’s follow His example! 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 

-Michelle Gaddi



Mark__2

Scripture  

Mark 2:14-15 

As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.  And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

The book of Mark was most likely written by John Mark, a close associate of Peter.  This account of the life of Jesus Christ is a written version of Peter’s sermons to the early Christians and addresses their needs.  Evidence of Mark’s close ties to Peter, Paul and the early church comes several times throughout the book of Acts.  Mark even traveled with Paul and Barnabas during Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13:5).  

In the second chapter of Mark, we see the introduction of Levi, also known as Matthew (the author of the gospel).  Matthew was a tax collector, which was one of the most detestable groups of people.  “As a class, the tax collectors were hated by their fellow Jews. This was almost inevitable. They represented the foreign domination of Rome. Their methods were necessarily inquisitorial. That they often overcharged people and pocketed the surplus is almost certain. In the rabbinical writings they are classified with robbers” (biblegateway.com).  Jesus, through his interactions with characters like Matthew and Zacheous, showed his deep love for all humanity.  Additionally, Jesus proves himself to be a pursuer of the church, His bride, as described in the book of Song of Solomon.  

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

As a young man I was quite persistent.  As I get older, that persistence looks a little more like stubbornness.  The persistence, though, is what made me successful as a runner.  My size, contrary to popular belief, makes me not very suitable to be a runner.  While my long legs could give me a longer stride, my height also gives me the disadvantage of carrying more weight than my competitors.  But, my persistence and my willingness to endure hardship also helped me to be able to outwork my competitors.

My persistence also helped me marry a woman above my class.  When I began to show interest in my wife, she turned me down…a lot.  I asked Jen out for dates on several different occasions (somewhere north of ten times over a period of several months), before she finally told me yes.  If you ask her, she’ll probably tell you I pulled a fast one on her and left a bag in her trunk, which I needed to get and then had her cornered for a short period of time.  Luckily for me, my persistence paid off again.  

Jesus is more persistent than me in His love for His chosen and beloved.  Where I would have taken a hint at some point, Jesus never took a hint, he showed His love for us and took it to the ultimate lengths by dying for us.  Jesus didn’t even care what people thought about his love.  He wasn’t ever embarrassed to be seen around those he loved.  He didn’t care about his reputation or his appearance, He just needed to be with the ones he loved, no matter what.  It didn’t matter to Jesus that Matthew wasn’t popular, He loved him anyway.  And Jesus loves us the same.  Jesus’ love knows no end.

 

Life Application 

Jesus, help me to love with abandon like you.  Help me to reach those who are on the fringes of society.  Help me to place the mission above my reputation.    


-Tyler Galloway



Mark_1

Scripture – What stood out?

Mark 1:34

And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

 

Observation – What does it say?

The gospel of Mark is another recounting of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Chapter one moves at a very rapid pace highlighting John the baptist’ role and quickly moving into Jesus healing ministry and teaching ministry.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

I sometimes forget that Jesus was human when he began his ministry here on earth. In other words he chose to limit himself (God) by adhering to all of our human rules. My pastor once asked us to imagine taking our human bodies and trying to stuff it all into a little cockroach. Unsavory imagery but point understood. And with all of Jesus’ limitations we see him overpowering demons, overcoming sickness, and teaching with authority.

 

And so I find myself asking God, “Am I able to do that too?”

 

In this chapter alone here are some of the things we know about Jesus:

 

  • He moved in the power of Holy Spirit – 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 
  • He knew the old testament scriptures fairly well – 21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching.
  • He spent time with the Father – 35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 

 

Life Application How can I apply this to my life today?

Is it really possible to pattern my life like yours Lord? Help me to stop making excuses and live the way that I am supposed to. Today I will spend time in prayer with you very early in the morning, I will pray for the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that you teach me your words Father God.

 

And may you be gracious to me as your face shines upon me.

In the name of Jesus, amen.

-kenneth lee



Psalm_66

Scripture

Psalm 66: 8-10

Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.
 

Observation

This psalm is one of the rare psalms not attributed to David, and is regarded as a praise song. Traditionally, this particular chapter is recited during an Easter celebration (so we’re a little late) but it explains the victory and blessing we experience in the Lord.
 

Understanding

I love that this psalmist praises God for all the amazing deeds that He has done. He also shows gratitude for God allowing them to in some way keep their position, that is keeping them rooted in Christ. But the part that I had to stop on today always catches my attention in the Bible and even in songs: “you refined us like silver.” If you know anything about the refinement process of precious metals, you’ll understand that it is extremely uncomfortable. The ore is taken and put through immense amounts of heat until the impurities (or dross if you want to be fancy) comes rising to the top. Then the refiner will scrape these impurities off and blast it through heat again, this process is continued until no more dross is present and the ore is completely refined silver. So when we say “I want to be tried by the fire and purified” or “you refined us like silver” it’s the understanding that our blessings are sometimes wrapped up in a difficult test.

There are very few things that I consider a “dangerous prayer,” but asking God to refine us like any precious metal is one of them in my eyes. As I look back on my life there’s only one time I can remember I asked God to truly “refine” me, and wow He did. In the beginning of 2020 I wrote in a journal: “I want to be forged in the fire so that I come out as purified gold. As of right now though I feel the flames getting hotter and hotter, and I have to made the choice that I will survive the scorching.” Needless to say 2020 was a journey that I am still navigating, and I now can say that I believe the sentiment I wrote in January 2020. “I will survive the scorching,” but also the blessing is in the testing and that’s what this psalmist is reminding us today.
 

Life Application

Choose to look at your difficulties with eyes of wonder rather than eyes of despair. The blessing is in the testing, so although it is not easy push through the tough circumstances and remember that no matter what He still good, and always worthy of our praise.

-Allison Khan