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!
 

James_____4

Scripture

James 4:7 NLT

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Observation-What does it say?

James originally wrote this book of the Bible for the “twelve tribes” of Jewish believers scattered abroad. In this particular passage he is giving advice on how they can draw closer to God.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Want a closer relationship with God?

Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you.-James 4:8

James tells us we can have a closer relationship with God by acting on these 2 things.

  1. Humbling yourself
  2. Resisting the devil

Being humble requires us to submit to God. We need to understand that we are nothing without Him, and that we need Him-(Jesus), in our lives to be our savior. We need to let go of our way of doing things and do things God’s way. Resisting the devil requires us being humble, and understanding that we cannot do it under our own strength, but only through God’s strength. The devil knows our weaknesses and will do everything he can to tug on them, to bring you down. His main purpose is to create that wedge of our sinfulness to separate us from having that personal and intimate relationship with God. Don’t let him do it! Be humble and resist!

Life Application

Jesus is the perfect example.

Jesus showed us how to have that closer relationship (father-son/child) with God. As powerful as Jesus was, he still went to God in prayer. He often would seek a quiet place to go and reside to, to get “re-energized” to continue his daily ministry. Jesus was also tempted by the devil when he went into the wilderness without food for 40 days. Jesus was able to resist the devil’s temptations. Jesus knew the word of God, and used the word to combat everything the devil threw his way. Jesus is the perfect example of how we should live our lives, and have that closer relationship with God. By remaining humble, seeking God constantly in prayer, and reading His word, God will give me all that I need to combat the evil one. And by doing these things, I know I will be pleasing God, and I will have an even closer relationship to my father in Heaven. 😊
 
-Moses Gaddi


Micah 6

Scripture 

Micah 6:8 

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

 

Observation-What does it say? 

The book of Micah was written in the 8th century before the birth of Jesus.  Micah was from a small town in Judah, near the Philistine border.  He prophesied of the fall of Israel’s capitals, Jerusalem and Samaria, and of the eventual fall of Judah.  Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.  Israel and Judah had fallen into some prosperity during this time, and the comfort that accompanied this prosperity made way for corruption of the character of the nation  The nation of Israel had fallen into sin, so had the kingdom of Judah, and this was displeasing to God.  Throughout the book, Micah tells of the judgement and deliverance by God.  Both Micah and Amos, one of Micah’s contemporaries, showed deep concern for social justice among the people of Israel.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

Jen (my wife) always reminds me that “actions speak louder than words.”  She usually says this when we are having some kind of argument about something I did.  Luckily for me, she fell in love with me for this same reason.  Just about every relationship has that time where things are a little up in the air on whether it’s the real thing, whether or not the couple are “meant to be.”  When Jen and I were in that time, I did a few things that really showed her who I was and that my actions lined up with my words.  On one day, I showed her I was both handy and domestic.  I changed her oil and cooked her dinner, things that I had been doing for myself for years.  But, it was that they were done for her with no expectation of a return that spoke to her.  

 

Another time, we had planned on going to her friend’s wedding on a Friday in Las Vegas at 6 pm.  Except I couldn’t get off work in Los Angeles until noon that day.  I swore to her I would make it, but she had her doubts.  As I was changing in the parking lot of the hotel at 5 pm, I got a call from her to find out where I was.  When I informed her I was waiting for her, she became ecstatic and told me she wouldn’t be there for another 45 minutes.  That day she found out I was good about coming through with what I say, and I found out that I would always be waiting for her to get ready.  But, she’s worth it I guess.

 

Similarly, God thinks our actions speak louder than words.  Throughout scripture we are encouraged and told that love is an action word.  Jesus tells us that all of the commandments are summed up by loving God and loving others.  To the Philippians, Paul wrote, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”  Jesus also told his followers, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)  Jesus showed us the ultimate example of actions speaking louder than words.  He gave his life for us, even while we were still sinners.


Life Application 

 
Jesus, help me to find tangible ways to share your love with others.  Whether that be in a shared cup of coffee, an afternoon spent helping someone move, or a donation to a family in need or homeless shelter, your love can be at the center of it all.  Give me grace to give, even when it hurts.   
 
-Tyler Galloway  


Psalm_8

Scripture – What stood out?

Psalm 8:4 

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

    human beings that you care for them?

 

Observation – What does it say?

A psalm of David.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Desert streams church was the first church to ask me about my posture and position towards God. And I believe it is because my church demands that I grow in my relationship with the Lord, that I am better able to understand those concepts.

What I have been contemplating for the past week however is a different p word, perspective.

I know there are books about laws of attraction etc etc, but I am going to attribute this one to the laws of the Holy Spirit working on me. I have really been chewing on this idea of how a person views life and the world is so important. My life changed drastically once I embraced Jesus as my Lord. And I embraced my view on life that God is great, and I am not. 

I think about the people I am surrounded by, filled with chaos and anger in their hearts. I think about all the hurting and hostile people out there who have not accepted Jesus in their lives and I can only pity them. It was only when I embraced this perspective, when I embraced that I would look at life from the vantage point of a mere mortal in relation to a perfect and perfectly loving God, that I began to transform. And the lack of peace in my heart was replaced with the fullness of peace that to this day I can still only describe as a supernatural one.

 

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

Lord, how amazing Psalm 8 is. What a great reminder of the true pecking order of our lives. My prayer Lord is that you would help me to gain greater insight into this way of living and thinking. Of thinking about you as the majestic ruler of all. For my life application Lord I choose to pray for our political leaders, regardless of their socio-ideological beliefs. I will pray for them with the perspective we are all Your children and that you wish to save not some but all.

 

In the name of Jesus, amen. -kenneth lee

 



Romans___13

Scripture

Romans 13:1-2

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves.
 

Observation

Paul continues his letter by explaining practical ways to live in salvation, and he explains this through the government. Although written a long time ago, Paul’s word are still just as important today when viewing the balance of faith and government in the modern age.
 

Understanding

Anyone who knows me, knows this: I love United States history. Like I eat, sleep, breathe it! It’s kind of sad how much I love it. I’ll get excited just thinking about it (like right now I’m getting filled with excitement). Anyway, one of the periods that I love to look at is the Revolutionary War and the forming of the Constitution.

Here’s Allison’s brief history lesson of the day: the Constitution was not the first framework for our nation, it was actually the second. The first was something called the Articles of Confederation. The Articles failed dramatically because they ceased to give the central government any power in governing the people. Ironically, the people and the states had too much power. When the government tried to tax whiskey a rebellion broke out because they just fought a whole war on the basis of taxation and representation. The founding fathers then came together in Philadelphia and decided to “revise” the Articles, but instead they rewrote it, and viola: the new U.S. Constitution. Now this process took a long time mostly because the delegates argued relentlessly with each other. They all wanted a say in this newly formed nation, and after months of fighting, revising, writing, and drafting the U.S. gained her official “living document.”

All of this to say: our nation didn’t start on agreement, but I fear it will be this same disagreeing spirit that will be its downfall. Paul writes that we should submit to governing authorities, no matter how much we like them or not (or should I say whether you voted for them or not). Our Constitution wasn’t just created on a whim it took time to make, yet we the people wish to abolish it or amend it overnight. I don’t think its an accident that we ended up with the document or presidents, Congress, or Supreme Court that we did. It is God alone who establishes the authority of the United States or any state for that matter, the least we can do is calm down and perhaps trust the process. Good things take time… and to quote the Bible and one of my favorite historical figures Abraham Lincoln:

Mark 3:25

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand”

And I think to add quite fittingly, Abraham Lincoln finishes his House Divided Speech with this: “Wise counsels may accelerate or mistakes may delay it, but sooner or later victory is sure to come.”
 

Life Application

Let’s look to bridge gaps, and not further the divide. We live in a wonderfully flawed, but still looking to build nation. I think that’s what makes America what it is… it’s full of imperfect people just trying to keep moving forwards. Here’s my thought on that: it is good to sometimes look back on history because it shows us how far we’ve come, or it shows us a mistake we are about to make again. Let’s be patient with one another and our government, we’re all trying our best.

Hopefully you all don’t hate me, I talked politics and history at once. I promise I’ll refrain from doing it again.

-Allison Khan


Haggai 1

Scripture

Haggai 1:5-9

5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 

 

Observation-What does it say?

The book of Haggai was written by the Prophet Haggai. “God sought to warn the people to heed His words.  Not only did God warn them, but He also offered promises through His servant Haggai to motivate them to follow Him. Because the people of God reverses their priorities and failed to put God in first place in their lives, Judah was sent into Babylonian exile.” 

(Reference: gotquestions.org -Summary of the Book of Haggai).

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

It ALL belongs to God.

When I say ALL, I mean ALL…our money, our gifts, our talents, our accomplishments, our health, our possessions, our spouses, kids, families, friends….basically our whole lives! God has the power to give and He has the power to take away. 

Moses and I are teaching our kids about tithing and are requiring them to give 10% of their financial increase back to the Lord as an act of obedience. Their tithe eventually goes back into our DSC kids church ministry. (Note: Our kids have already accepted the Lord into their hearts and were baptized, so this is not a legalistic rule we are putting on them—it’s a discipline and act of obedience that we are trying to instill in them as a child of Christ.) We get the moans and groans, but then we make them aware that God could ask them to return ALL of it since it belongs to Him anyway. This life begins and ends with Christ, not with them.

 

Life Application

Put Christ FIRST!

Do you want God’s blessing on your life, even beyond money? Do you want to be content and satisfied in life, living securely in the comfort of His love, joy and peace, no matter what circumstances you are faced with? Then put Him first in ALL areas of your life—finances, gifts, talents, possessions and people.

Dear Lord, this life is but a blink of Your eye. I pray that we would put our hope in things of eternal value and invest in what You want, not what we want for ourselves. I pray that we would build Your Kingdom instead of our own because our kingdom can be easily destroyed, while Yours is eternal. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm 5

 

*Throwback post from Rei leading up to the 2018 India Missions trip, but it is still very relevant for today!*

 

Scripture
 

Psalm 5:3

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;

    in the morning I lay my requests before you

    and wait expectantly.

 

Observation-What does it say?

Psalm is the documentation of David – crying out, praising, pouring out His heart to God.  “It is a reflection of how the righteous man prays for deliverance not only for freedom from suffering, but to allow himself to be able to serve God without distraction.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalm_5

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Lately, the word “expectantly” has been reoccurring and heavy (in a good way) on my heart.  In preparation of our India trip, I am EXPECTANT.  But I’m finding myself expectant more and more often…and this verse brings light to the fact that we should be expectant EVERYDAY. 

For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down and the mountains trembled before you.  – Isaiah 64:3   

God can and WILL do amazing things, whether we live in expectancy or not…but, to live in faith, means to live in expectation – knowing and believing God will provide, He will move boldly…this is when mountains move!

…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you. – Matthew 17:20

 

Life Application

Be bold in faith! 

God, thank you for your ready examples of your faithfulness.  May we be eager and bold to call on you, to share you with friends, family and strangers alike.  Show me how to love on people today in a way that points them to you. 

In your name, I pray.  Amen.

-Rei



Psalm 4

Scripture 

Psalm 4:6-8 

Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”  Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!  You have put gladness in my heart,  More than when their grain and new wine abound.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.

 

Observation-What does it say?  

As the title expresses, this is a Psalm of David, whom we know as a man after God’s heart.  This was written as a song for Israel’s worship services.  It was likely written in a time of chaos and confusion, when people were turning away from the promises of God and turning toward the “wisdom” of men and foreign gods.  They were asking “who will show us any good?”  and seeking for answers outside of scripture.  David expresses the strength and joy he has found in the Lord.  In Biblical language the heart is the center of our spirit, the place where our emotions, thoughts, courage and action are derived from.  David tells the audience he found more security in God than when food was abundant (in today’s language, we might say when the stock market is doing well).  His safety was derived from his obedience to God’s commandments and his faith in God’s goodness.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

“Is–is he a man?” asked Lucy.  “Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly.  “Certainly not.  I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emporer-Beyon-the-Sea.  Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts?  Aslan is a lion–the Lion, the great Lion.”  Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man.  Is he–quite safe?”… “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.  “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.  He’s the King, I tell you.”

 

In “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, C.S. Lewis used a story geared towards children to express the same truths he saw in the Bible.  He drew from his experience of uncertainty during both the first and second World Wars, as well as the pain experienced by the death of his mother at an early age, while writing these stories.  He became one of the foremost lay theologians of the 20th century.  Through all of the pain and uncertainty he experienced during his lifetime, which included the Spanish Flu pandemic and the stock market crash of the 1930’s, Lewis clearly developed a deep trust in God’s goodness, evidenced by his writings.

 

There is a lot of talk now of “being safe.”  God never promised safety.  In fact, scripture gives us assurance that if we follow Christ we will most certainly not be safe.  Before sending out the twelve, Jesus warned them they would see a hard road and gave them the true meaning of discipleship.  Jesus said, “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.  Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:26-31)  Jesus also told his followers that they were blessed when they saw persecution (Matthew 5:11-12).  As David expressed, we only find security in God, not in the “wisdom” of this world.

 

Life Application 

Jesus, help me to find security in you, even when the world attacks and persecutes your church.  When the world seeks to keep us from worshiping you, help me to face the scrutiny with boldness and courage.  It is only in you that I find my life, only in you can I move and breath and have my being.  In you I am a new creation, and if I don’t cry out, surely the rocks will.        

 
-Tyler Galloway



Psalm_____51

Scripture – What stood out?

Psalms 51

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 My sacrifice, O God, is[a] a broken spirit;

    a broken and contrite heart

    you, God, will not despise.

 

Observation – What does it say?

King David, finally convinced of his sin, continues to pour himself and his heart out to God in this moving and penitent Psalm.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Was King David ahead of the game, or what? In a culture and time where forgiveness of sins revolved around the laws of sacrifice for David to utter these words was probably a shocker to some, especially the sticklers for the rules. But he was the king. 

 

For me these words share so much insight into the tension that exists between what is required of the law, and what God actually wants. God does not delight in what needs to happen to sinners or the ways in which we try to make up for it, but instead  wants so badly for us to turn our hearts to Him. God doesn’t delight in our sacrifice. He delights in a heart that he can love. Isn’t it so interesting that sometimes it takes a broken spirit and a contrite heart in order to correctly view our place in the world? Or one step further, our place with God?

 

David was a king with absolute power…in THIS world. And yet he still chose to break his own spirit, and turn his heart to God. He chose to treat himself as lesser than in relation to the Lord. 

 

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

 

I am reading this fantastic book right now and I am admitting to stealing my life application from it. Pastor and author Gary Khan  writes in his book Reset on day 4:

 

Has God used your painful and sinful experiences to help others? How have you seen it? 

Take a moment to surrender your life before God. Give Him every part and ask Him to use you for His honor and glory.

Specifically ask Him to use you to minister His love and grace to the people around you.

 

Use me Lord. In the name of Jesus, amen.

-kenneth lee

 



Psalm____51

Scripture

Psalms‬ ‭51:10‬ ‭NLT

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” 

Observation-What does it say?
 
This is a psalm of David that was written shortly after the time the prophet Nathan came to David and exposed him of his adultery with Bathsheba.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Godly repentance vs. Worldly repentance.
 
The Bible refers to David as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). This psalm continues to prove that point. You see, David messed up BIG time. David not only committed adultery, but he also murdered the husband of the woman he committed adultery with. David tried to hide his sin, until the prophet Nathan came to David and called him out on the carpet for that sin. David was mortified. How could he do this? After all God had done for him, he let his sinful desires get the best of him. Now what separates David from others is his admission of his sin to God. He not only confesses his sin, but he repents, (turns away), from it. Now everyone sins. But how many of us who sin are truly sorry for our sin and repent away from our sin? It’s like I tell my kids when they mess up, “Don’t just say you’re sorry, show me you’re sorry.” Because are you really sorry if you’re just going to do it again anyways?
 
David got the picture. He cried out to God, begging forgiveness, fasting, dressing in burlap, and praying for God to forgive him. But most importantly, he learned from his mistake and made sure it would not happen again and that is the key. That is what God is looking for in our lives. We are all going to mess up and make mistakes. It’s how we respond to them and grow from them that truly matters.
 
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”-2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:10
 
Life Application
 
It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
 
Let me leave you with this speech by the famous Rocky Balboa. It’s a scene in a movie when a father is talking to his son. Apply it to how sin can hit us in life and knock us to our knees and shake us to our core. But how will we respond to it, especially after learning from what David did in this passage? 🤔
 
https://youtu.be/_J0Ahh3UxbM
 
-Moses Gaddi


Psalm__1

 

Scripture
 
Psalm 1: 1-3
 

 1Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

 

Observation-What does it say?

The Psalmist compares the way of the righteous with the way of the wicked.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

The way of the righteous yields fruit and he/she is protected by the Lord; while the way of the wicked yields no fruit, withers away and is destroyed.

I was just talking to my husband about how funny God’s Word is sometimes (proving that God has a sense of humor too); specifically, the story about when Jesus was hungry. He went to a fig tree, but since it wasn’t bearing fruit, He cursed the tree and told it that no one would ever eat fruit from it again. (See Mark 11:12-14) I told Moses that it’s like Jesus got hangry, which is a term used for how we act when we get angry because we are hungry. However, Jesus always has purpose to what He does and He basically made a point to His disciples that this is what would happen to those who don’t bear fruit.

 

Life Application 

A great way to start bearing fruit is to delight in God’s Word. This is why we have daily Bible readings, a Soul Journal blog and Pastor’s “Reset” devotional. Here’s a link to it if you haven’t gotten your copy yet.

https://www.amazon.com/Reset-spiritual-challenge-Gary-Khan/dp/B08NZ1KBQS/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=gary+khan&qid=1608167274&s=books&sr=1-2

Dear Lord,

I pray that we would continue to be connected to You. I pray that we wouldn’t be trees who yield no fruit, but rather be trees who continue to bear fruit for You, regardless of what season we are in. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi