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!

Isaiah 51

Scripture  Isaiah 51:2-3  look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth.  When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.  The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.  Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.


Observation-What does it say?  Isaiah continues to call the nation of Israel out of captivity.  “This chapter is designed for the comfort and encouragement of those that fear God and keep his commandments, even when they walk in darkness and have no light. Whether it was intended primarily for the support of the captives in Babylon is not certain, probably it was; but comforts thus generally expressed ought not to be so confined”(Matthew Henry Commentary).  At the end of the chapter, God reminds Israel he has removed his wrath and it has been passed on to their tormentors.  However, it must not be forgotten that Israel had walked away from God and they suffered His disappointment because of that.


Understanding-What does it mean?  Sometimes raising three boys can be a challenge and sometimes requires much coaxing.  Teaching them to swim and jumping into the water, for example, was an interesting experience.  Jen or I would be standing in the pool telling one of them to jump into our arms, while they would be standing on the side of the pool telling us how afraid they were.  Waiting for what felt like an eternity, we would argue our point, “Have I ever intentionally let you get hurt before?”   Of course the answer is no.  But in their mind, the fear outweighed the danger.  And we, just like Israel, often act this same way.  We pull away from God out of fear, even though God’s security is greater than the danger we face.


In our world today, we hear a lot of fear being preached to us.  Fear of a virus, fear of a subversive takeover of the government, fear that food is going to run out.  But, God is still calling to us, saying, “Trust me, I will catch you.”  And it can be tempting to pull away, especially since we are experiencing something “new.”  However, God already told us there is “nothing new under the sun”(Ecclesiastes 1:9).  He has been there before, and taken others through this.  


It can also be tempting to spread this message of fear, especially when we feel we are right about a subject.  But, we are reminded that our message is to be one of hope.  In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul charges the church to preach only Christ crucified, which is in contrast to the knowledge the world looked for.

Life Application  Jesus, in this time of uncertainty help me to be a beacon of hope and song of comfort to those around me.  Help me to be focused on You and dispel fear.  For you are the one who made the foundations of the earth.  Who am I to question you?   

-Tyler Galloway





Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.




Jesus was speaking to the thousands that had gathered to hear him. 




Greek definition of Treasure – a store-house for precious things;including (treasured) thoughts stored up in the heart and mind.”a receptacle for valuables”


Imagine you had a treasure box filled with valuable items to keep safe. What is in that treasure box?

momentos passed down from relatives, books maybe weapons, old pictures, chocolate 🙂 Jewelry, money. 


Treasure box is where you put things that have value to us. 


What do we have stored up in the treasure box in our hearts and minds? 


Memories of our kids, our wedding day, celebrations and mournings. Relationships with our family, friends, and community. 


If there was a fire in your house what would you make sure goes with you? 


When you leave this earth, what would you like to take with you? 




While taking things with us to heaven may sound appealing we know it is not possible. 


Jesus said that we should store up treasure in heaven. He didn’t want us to store up possessions and money for its own sake. It would eventually be destroyed. 


We know that even now in our own country how quickly jobs and money can be taken away.


Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


What are we doing here on earth that is building up treasure for us in heaven?


Giving to people in need.


Loving people when it’s difficult.


Sharing the love of God with others. 


Luke 12:31 But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.


We don’t have to worry about not having what we need if our “treasure box” is filled with kingdom valuables. 
-Deborah Lee

Luke 11


Luke 11: 24-26

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.


Jesus just gets finished teaching the disciples the Lord’s Prayer and then he continues on to another village where He performs a miracle. He drives a mute impure spirit out of a man, to which the crowd responds contrary to what He expects or desires. Jesus then tells the crowd of people there this.


Always be on your guard.

For some reason, I always skipped over this section of Luke chapter eleven because it scared me (which is why I don’t read Revelation often either, if I am being honest). Believe it or not this time I think I got a valuable lesson out of the scary bit I would skip over. I don’t think that Jesus tells these people this reality to scare them, but rather to warn them to always been their guard. The enemy loves to steal what the Lord has made whole, and he rests at nothing to do so. It sounds extremely foreboding, trust me I know, but the minute we let our guard down the enemy strikes. If he doesn’t succeed the first time either, he goes back for reinforcements as Jesus so joyously points out. To make matters even worse, I know for a fact that the enemy is attempting to strike us right now when we feel vulnerable. He strikes in ways that we least expect, he leaves us captive to ourselves with a seemingly impossible escape. He intensifies a spirit of apathy, rather than one of hunger and devotion. He always lurks, and he never rests.

But our God never rests or ceases fire either. As I read this passage today I was struck with that reality. Jesus drove out many impure spirits when He walked the earth, but more than that He empowered others to do the same. The enemy may come at one point in my life and “see the house clean and swept,” and he can go back for reinforcements all he want because I will too. Here’s what I am driving at: we are in a battle that is already won! Right now it is so easy to get caught up with the world and this overwhelming feeling of “What’s the point?” (as a best friend of mine put it), but all we have to do is put up our guard because Jesus does the fighting for us. We can’t give in right now or ever because too often we let the enemy win. But not anymore! It is time to fight back, no more waiting and complaining at home during quarantine. Let’s be people on our face in prayer contending for our world that is confused and scared. Let’s come out of this stronger than when it started.

Life Application

Keep up your guard, but remember to look around the ring.

We have to remember who is on our side and who is fighting against us, so familiarize yourself with your team. In other words, spend time in the word of God and understanding who He is, but also don’t neglect your brothers and sisters in Christ either. Let’s encourage one another, rather than cutting off communication from each other. We may be in separate houses, but that does mean that communication has to cease either. And when you feel discouraged and feel the enemy knocking on the door of your house remember:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

-Allison Khan 




Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”


Observation-What does it say? 


Jesus was addressing Martha’s complaint against her sister for not helping her with the preparations. Instead of working to make everything perfect for Jesus, Mary was just sitting at His feet, listening to HIm. 


Understanding-What does it mean? 


Martha’s focus on the wrong thing led her to become worried and upset.


Mary focused on Jesus and her relationship with Jesus. Martha focused on the work she needed to do for Jesus.   

Jesus is always great at digging at the heart. It wasn’t the fact that Martha was doing work for Him, because working for Jesus is what being on mission means. It was Martha’s heart that was wrong. Her heart is what Jesus had to correct. Jesus pointed out that she had become distracted, worried and upset about many things. What she needed to do was focus on their relationship, just like Mary was doing. 


Life Application


When we are worried and upset about many things, we must ask ourselves, “When was the last time I sat at Jesus’ feet in prayer and just listened?” “When was the last time I opened up God’s Word?”


The lesson we learn from Mary and Martha is very relevant to today. People are distracted, with their complete focus on Covid-19. They are meditating more on the news and media than God’s Word. People are worried. People are upset. This is why we need to point them to Jesus (if they don’t have a relationship with Him already) or remind them to fix their eyes back on Jesus, if they have a relationship with Him already. Jesus is the only One who can calm our storms and like the awesome message last Sunday, we just need to surrender and give up control.


Holy Spirit, Please forgive us for focusing on the wrong thing at times. Please continue to remind us that when we focus on You and our relationship with You, that all of our distractions, fears, anxieties, anger and many worries will dissipate. I pray that we would not keep our relationship with You hidden, but boldly share with those around us so that they could also experience Your love, joy and peace through this time. Thank you Jesus! Amen.


-Michelle Gaddi




Luke 9:13-17

13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.



The chapter begins with a reminder that when Jesus called the twelve, they were given “power and authority” – and nothing else.  The power and authority to “drive out demons and to cure diseases” was all they were to bring – no extra clothes, food, no bag to carry anything in.  They were fully equipped for the journey. 



The miracles of Jesus multiplying food are some of my favorites. 

  1. I love food.
  2. I love the picture of provision it shows – even in the seemingly logistically impossible.

And…right now, in the midst of the pandemic, that provision message hits different. 

As we look ahead into a bunch of unknowns, many are filled with fear, scarcity thinking and, logistically speaking, that thought process makes sense.  But, what’s awesome, is we serve a God that makes sense of the nonsense, makes possible what seems impossible – whether that’s stretching two fish and five loaves to feed five thousand or stretching your last paycheck to last two extra weeks…or whatever the circumstances may be.  And, in true Jesus fashion, there will probably be leftovers!

And what did the disciples have to do to make it possible?  They collected the fish they had, they put what they had in Jesus’ hands, then they took what Jesus gave them and distributed to the people, then picked up the leftovers…and “they all ate and were satisfied.”


Life Application:

Remember the source.  Everything we have comes from Him. 

Remember he can do far more with a portion of the total than we can do with the total.

Give Him the first fruits. 

Distribute the rest as He directs.

Trust that God’s got you covered with what’s left.




Scripture:  Isaiah 46:9-10  Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’


Observation-What does it say?  Chapter 46 of Isaiah takes place during Israel’s exile to Babylon.  In this section of the book (chapters 40-55), Isaiah is proclaiming the period of salvation for Israel and God bringing them out of captivity and judgement.  Although they had suffered His judgement-which was a result of their disobedience-He still loves them and cares for them.  Where chapters 1-39 spoke of a future king, chapters 40-55 speak of a coming servant who carries out God’s purpose at great cost.  Chapters 46-47 addresses the submission of God’s people to pagan idols and the burden these idols place on the backs of those who worship them.  But God, the real God, carries our burdens and has the ability to act on our behalf.


Understanding-What does it mean?  The other day, I responded to an alarm call at work.  I found out from a neighbor, the homeowner had set the alarm off themselves as they left the house and would be back soon.  As a precaution, I did a check around the house to make sure there were no signs of a burglary before they arrived.  In the backyard, behind a pile of boxes and underneath a loose covering, I saw a motorcycle that looked as if it had been forgotten.  As I got a closer look at it, I saw it was a Harley Davidson and my interest peaked, because it was clearly older than me.  When the man and his wife of 60 years got home, I advised them their house appeared secure and jumped right into the important question.  “How old is that Harley?”


It turned out to be a 1941 Harley Davidson servi-car and he had owned it since he was 15.  For the next twenty minutes or so, I spoke with this couple and their neighbor about cars and things of the past, how he had driven 150 miles an hour for nearly ten minutes in his Pontiac, which was also in the backyard.  The conversation reminded me that people often go through some pretty crazy things during life, and most often come out alright on the other side.


In Christ, we have the ultimate security that things will be alright.  Actually, things are going to be much better than alright.  God has great and wonderful plans, which he always comes through with.  We know that He is “the same yesterday and today and forever!”(Hebrews 13:8).  His plans are for us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11), and they always turn out for our good (Romans 8:28-30).  Despite all of the “uncertainty” of today, we can be certain that our God prevails.


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to learn how to pray.  When I am anxious, help me to lay all my cares on you and actually trust you.  Even as things are uncomfortable and unknown, I know that my future is secure in you and that I have no reason to fear.  

-Tyler Galloway


Scripture What stood out?

Isaiah 45

4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,

    of Israel my chosen,

I summon you by name

    and bestow on you a title of honor,

    though you do not acknowledge me.

5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;

    apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you,

    though you have not acknowledged me,

6 so that from the rising of the sun

    to the place of its setting

people may know there is none besides me.

Observation What does it say?

In this chapter Isaiah’s prophesy, which I am defining as a message from God which sometimes refers to future events, concerns Cyrus who will end the Babylonian exile of the Israelites. The chapter goes on to reveal and reiterate the characteristics and nature of God as best expressed in our words and ideas.

Understanding What does it mean?

Several things stood out to me from the above verses. I have since gone back and re read these three verses 5 additional times mulling them over in my head and in my heart asking God to reveal to me what he meant by them. This is what I believe He imparted to me: God desires to be acknowledged…by us. 

While verse 4 has a very literal interpretation (the Israelites were in agony, having been in Babylonian captivity), I also felt HS show me of one other. I think it is easy for Christians to sometimes envy the relationship that God had with the nation of Israel. Look at how they are spoken about by Him, “Israel my chosen”. If you are a Christian, you long to hear those words spoken aloud by God about yourself. And as I thought these thoughts I remembered the promise spoken over Isaac and Abraham in Genesis 22:18…and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.

God’s blessing over me, over all of us came through Jesus, who came for not one nation, but all nations on earth. It’s why sometimes God summons you by name, even though you don’t acknowledge Him. 

There is no mention of love in the above three verses. But I remember a time when I walked onto a dance floor and desperately wanted my childhood crush to just notice me. She never did. Her heart belonged to another. However, I contend that God’s heart does belong to you. You are His childhood crush. And he desperately wants you to notice Him. 

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

I choose to take notice of you today. I will notice you in the beauty of the outside world and the beauty of the inside world. I will take 5 minutes today and just think about how my whole life you have been calling out to me. By name. Even though for so long I did not acknowledge you.

I love you Lord,

-kenneth lee

Luke 6


Luke: 6:45


“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

Observation-What does it say? 
In this passage, Jesus is not speaking to a general audience, He was speaking to His disciples and anyone else who chose to align themselves with Him. Jesus spoke on the Beatitudes, the importance of loving your enemies, He spoke on not judging others, and in this particular verse, He spoke on knowing if a person was a true disciple by their actions-(knowing a tree by the fruit it produces). How a person talks and acts will show the true colors of their heart.
Understanding-What does it mean?
You’re just like your dad.
Have you ever received that comment in your life? Depending on what the person is referring to, it can be a good or a bad thing. For me, I get my stubbornness from my dad. But I also have his hard work ethic. I also get my rugged good looks from him. And from that last statement, you also know now that I get my silly sense of humor from him as well. 🤣 The point is we all obtain characteristics from our parents whether they are good ones or bad ones. It’s in our DNA. It’s also from being around them constantly and how they raised us to be.
So if you consider yourself to be a Christ Follower, you should have some of your Heavenly Father’s traits. Or should I say your actions should be producing some of the fruits of the spirit.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
-Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬a‬‬
You see, once you accept Jesus into your heart, you are now adopted into the family of God. He is now your Heavenly Father, who leaves you His Holy Spirit to help strengthen and guide you in your daily life. Our relationship with Jesus is one of a Father and child. So, it’s only natural if we spend our time with Him and follow His instructions, that we too will begin to look and act like Him. At the end of the day, the fruit of a person’s life-their words and actions, reveals who is and is not a true follower of Jesus. A believer’s actions must match his or her professions-(Romans 8:5-8).
Life Application
Do my words and actions reflect that I am a follower of Christ Jesus?
Father God, forgive me for the times my actions and words fall short of Your calling. I pray that You continue to fill me with your Holy Spirit, help me to be obedient to Your will, and guide me to fulfill Your ways. Help steer me away from being a tree that produces bitter fruits, that withers away and is thrown into the fire. Instead help me to be a tree that produces fruit, that helps nurture and feed others in need. In your Holy name I pray, Amen.
-Moses Gaddi


Isaiah 43:18-19
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
Observation-What does it say?
“In this chapter the Lord comforts his people. By his divine foresight he perceives that there are great and varied trials a little way ahead, and therefore He prepares them for the ordeal. They are to go through rushing waters and flaming fires; and He kindly bids them not to be afraid.” (Spurgeon’s Verse Expositions-Isaiah
Understanding-What does it mean?
God is in control.
The Lord brings comfort unlike no other. He was the only TRUE source of comfort for Israel and continues to be the only true source of comfort during this time.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Psalm 119:76
“Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” Isaiah 49:13 NIV
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Life Application
Continue to meditate on God’s Word and His promises/character during this time.
It’s easy for us to dwell on the past and wish for things to go back to the way it used to be. However, God is doing a NEW thing and just like He encouraged Israel, we must forget the former things and not dwell on the past. He is doing something new!
For me personally, Covid-19 has shaken my world and changed everything for me from my daily schedule, to my Sabbath, to my work, to homeschooling, to ministry, to my meal planning, shopping days, date nights, hugs, time with my extended family, etc. It’s like everything in my life that I felt was in order got completely shaken up! BUT, God is creating something beautiful with this new normal of mine by forcing me to let go of how things used to be. After 5 weeks of grieving and completely letting go of how things used to be, I’m starting to see it even more clearly now!
I do not want to dismiss the struggle that many of us are still facing right now (like not being with each other in person), but if you take time to meditate on His Word and meditate on the positives that have come about in the last 5 weeks, it’s amazing what God will reveal to you.
Praying for you and I miss you all dearly!
-Michelle Gaddi



Isaiah 42:5-7

 This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.



Chapters 40-55 are known as “Deutero-Isaiah” and date from the time of the Israelites‘ exile in Babylon. This chapter contains a poem known as the first of the “Servant songs” about the servant – which depending on what you read is Israel/Israelites, Jesus or Cyrus.  []. The chapter begins with the character of the servant (vs. 1-4) followed by God’s promise to His servant.



I escaped lockdown this weekend for some much-needed nature therapy at Ventura County beaches.  I’m often struck with awe at the understanding that the same God that created this crazy beautiful planet we live on and universe we live in – from its thousands of grains of sand, the huge expanse of the ocean and the varying decibels of the ocean waves crashing, that huge ball of gas that our planets orbits around and the stars in the sky that are too numerous to count – that God created and knows us…to the very number of hairs on our heads.  [Which based on the number I lose daily, to stay up to date on that seems a job in itself.] Yet that God knows us, loves us and considers us “perfectly and wonderfully made.”


And He did all of this – from sky and earth creation to Adam and Eve to the many generations between that brought us to this specific time in the blink of an eye we call life – for the purpose of relationship, for us knowing Him and making Him known. 


And, with that, comes a calling and a Holy Spirit empowerment…


“7 to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”


Life Application:

Know Him. [Spend time with Him.]

Make Him known. [Share His love with others.]

Live/walk in His power.  Now [and I mean especially now] is no time to hold back or hide our flames.  We must shine and burn brighter, walk in the power that He has bestowed in us and through us – taking  every opportunity to share His love, grace, healing, kindness, justness, patience, goodness…in ways big and small. 




PS As I read commentaries, I also loved and was encouraged by the below in reference to verses 3 and 4.


A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”


A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench: This is another reference to the gentle character of Jesus. A reed is a fairly fragile plant, yet if a reed is bruised, the Servant will handle it so gently that He will not break it. And if flax, used for tinder to start a fire, does not flame but only smokes, He will not quench it into extinguishing. Instead, the Servant will gently blow on the smoking flax, fanning it into flame again.

“We call ourselves Christians, but if you are like me, sometimes you are desperately ashamed of how dimly your light burns. There is far more smoke than fire: so little prayer, so little real testimony, so much depression and discouragement. But the Lord says He will not extinguish the smoking flax.” (Redpath)

“He is not dismissive of others: however useless or beyond repair (bruised reed), however ‘past it’ and near extinction (smouldering wick) they may seem. The negative statements imply their positive equivalents: he can mend the broken reed, fan into flame the smouldering wick. The former has been internally damaged, the latter lacks the external nourishment of oil. The Servant is competent both to cure and to supply.” (Motyer)


Jesus sees the value in a bruised reed, even when no one else can. He can make beautiful music come from a bruised reed, as He puts His strength in it! Though a smoking flax – used for a wick on an oil lamp – is good for nothing, Jesus knows it is valuable for what it can be when it is refreshed with oil. Many of us are like the bruised reed, and we need to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16). Others are like the smoking flax and can only burn brightly for the LORD again when we are drenched in oil, with a constant supply coming, as we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wants us to have His heart towards the lowly, broken, and hurting. It’s easy to pass them by just as quickly as the priest and the Levite passed the man on the road to Jericho. “The superficial Christian worker ignores that kind of situation. He wants a sphere to serve where it will be worthy of his talent, if you please. A task where his abilities will be recognized and used, something that is big enough to justify all the training he has undergone. In the eyes of the Lord, the test of the real servant is, does he bend with the humility of Jesus Christ over a bruised reed and smoking flax?” (Redpath)

He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged: The Servant is gentle, but not weak. He will bring forth justice for truth. There aren’t two ways about it; it will happen, and failure or discouragement will not stop the Servant.

Till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law: The work of the Servant will extend to the whole earth, and all the peoples – even those in the distant coastlands – shall serve Him.



No one is too far gone to be loved and used by God…and justice will come, in God’s time and in God’s way, but it will come.