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!
 

28 Days 2020: Day 3

STEPS TO CONSECRATING YOURSELF BEFORE GOD

 
Read Joshua 3
 
After the Lord rescued the people of Israel from brutal slavery in Egypt and delivered them from the powerful hand of Pharaoh, He called them to consecrate their lives.  The consecration was not a prerequisite of Israel’s salvation, but a commanded response to God’s faithful love for His people.  The Lord commands the nation of Israel to “be My holy people” in Exodus 22:31, to set themselves apart for worship and devotion to God.  The command has not changed now that we are under the blood of Christ.  Our salvation is still a work of total grace, based on the perfect righteousness of Jesus and not our own.  At the same time, Jesus has commanded those who have been purchased by His grace to “obey all that He has commanded us” and to “be holy as His Father is holy.”  In other words, we are still directed to consecrate ourselves before the Lord, not as a means of earning His favor, but as the appropriate response to His favor.  
 
What does this process of consecration look like?
First, we need to remember God’s grace in our lives.  
 
One of the most common commands in the Bible is to “remember” all that God has done for us.  The festivals in the OT and the sacraments in the NT are means of remembering the gracious work of God on our behalf.  A drift in our commitment to holiness is usually connected to a lack of awe and wonder at all that God has done for us.  
 
Spend some time today thinking about and writing down the good gifts that God has given to you that you do not deserve.  
 
SHARE A COUPLE WITH US IN THE COMMENT SECTION.
 
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 


28 Days 2020: Day 2

  • Exodus 32:29 (NCV)  Then Moses said, “Today you have been (consecrated) given for service to the LORD. You were willing to kill your own sons and brothers, and God has blessed you for this.“
  • Leviticus 20:7-8 (CEV) 7  Dedicate (consecrate) yourselves to me and be holy because I am the LORD your God. 8  I have chosen you as my people, and I expect you to obey my laws.
  • Joshua 3:5 (NIV)  Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
  • Joshua 7:13 (NIV)  “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.
 

Consecrated to serve God 

At one time the job of the priest was set aside for a specific few, but with Jesus’ life, death and resurrection He made us all priests.  We are now all set aside as priests to serve God, so as you read today’s observation and understanding keep in mind that when they talk about priests it is referring to all who have been saved by Jesus.
 
  • Read Exodus 29
  • Exodus 30:30 (NIV) “Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.
 

The priest’s first obligation was to minister to the Lord and please Him. If they forgot their obligation to the Lord, they would soon begin to minimize their responsibilities to the people, and the nation would decay spiritually.

That God chose Aaron and his sons to minister in the priesthood was an act of sovereign grace, because they certainly didn’t earn this position or deserve it. But, that God should save sinners like us, make us His children, and form us into a “holy priesthood” is also an act of His grace, and we should never lose the wonder of this spiritual privilege. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16, nkjv).

God’s people today must remember that our first obligation is to please the Lord and serve Him. If we do this, then He will work in us and through us to accomplish His work in this world. When Jesus restored Peter to discipleship, He didn’t ask “Do you love the ministry?” or even “Do you love people?” His repeated question was, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:17) Just as a father’s most important obligation is to love his children’s mother, so the servant’s most important obligation (and privilege) is to love the Lord. All ministry flows out of that relationship.

A part of pleasing the Lord was wearing the priestly garments. The high priest, the priests, and the Levites couldn’t dress as they pleased when they ministered at the tabernacle; they had to wear the garments God designed for them. God provided these garments for at least three reasons:
(1) they gave the priests “dignity and honor” (Ex. 28:2, niv) and set them apart, just as a uniform identifies a soldier or a nurse;
(2) they revealed spiritual truths relating to their ministry and our ministry today; and
(3) if the priests didn’t wear the special garments, they might die (vv. 35, 43).  Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Delivered (Exodus 25-20).
 
What do you think are our priestly garments that sets us apart and identifies us today as priests of God?  Share some of your thoughts with us in the comment section.
 
Here are a couple of ideas to get you going.
Ephesians 6:10-18
Romans 12:1-2
Phil 2:14-16
John 14:23-24
 
Take a moment and sign up for our 70 Hour Prayer Vigil happening January 30 -Feb 1.  
 


28 Days 2020: Day 1

Welcome to our 28 Days of Prayer and Fasting.  Our focus this year is on the harvest.  I am believing God for a great harvest of people coming to know Him as a result of the ministry of DSC.  For the next 28 days our regular SOUL Journal will be suspended and we will be doing a prayer and fasting devotional.  A couple of things I would ask…
Purpose to read the devotional each day.  Using the app on your phone you can easily access the devotional by going to SOUL Journal entries.
The other thing I would like is for you to interact.  Use the comment section to share what God is saying to you.  In order to make comments you must sign in to Disqus (it does not take very long to do so) and on your phone or computer click on the blog title in order to see the comment section at the bottom of the page.
 
Get ready for a great 28 days.
 

DAY 1: CONSECRATION

Read 2 Chronicles 29
 

Hezekiah succeeds his father Ahab to the throne.  Ahab was a wicked and idolatrous king.  He did not follow God’s commands.  Now along comes Hezekiah and his first act of rulership is to assemble the priests who have been out of commission because of his father.

I like what the sequence…

Hezekiah realizes that they have sinned and they are under a curse not God’s blessing.  He recognizes his place is not to be king and priest, but to be king.  The king sets the moral tone but the priests performs the spiritual duties.  So instead of trying to act as the priest he gathers the priests who have been inactive and speaks vision to them. This was the way that God had set it up and Hezekiah’s father had disobeyed God.

Now the priests spring into action – the action was to consecrate themselves.  They did not just go into action they prepared themselves spiritually.

Hebrews tells us that God rewards those who passionately seek Him.  The consecration is the beginning of that diligently seeking Him.

Only after the priests have consecrated themselves did they go into the temple to purify it and to do what God had commanded them to do.

 

What does it mean to consecrate ourselves?

In a general sense, the term “consecration” refers to the act of dedicating oneself to a specific purpose or intention. To “consecrate” yourself essentially means to wholly dedicate yourself to something of greatest important.

It means to be set apart, to be holy, to show oneself holy, to treat as holy, to dedicate, to be made holy, to declare holy, to behave, to act holy, to dedicate oneself. 

It is the act of  withdrawing someone or something from profane or ordinary use. 
  • The Lord set aside Aaron and his sons, consecrated them, and made them holy for the priesthood (Ex. 29:21).
  • The altar was made holy, and anything coming into contact with it became holy (Ex. 29:37).
  • The Tabernacle, the ark, the table of showbread, the altar of burnt offering, and all the smaller accessories and utensils used in worship in the Old Testament were anointed with a special anointing oil so they became holy. Whatever came in contact with them became holy (Ex. 30:26-29).
  • The men accompanying David as his military were declared holy (1 Sam. 21:5)

 

So consecrated things are set apart to be holy and anything coming into contact with them was made holy.  Think about that for a moment and what are the implications for you and your life.

 
In this first week we will be looking at this understanding of consecration.  Will you take time today to ask God to give you more insight into what it may mean for you to consecrate yourself for His purposes?  Using the definitions above what are some ways you think a consecrated life would look like for you?
 


Ecclesiastes 1

ScriptureEcclesiastes 1:2-3  “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”  What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun?

 

Observation-What does it say?  The author of Ecclesiastes is King Solomon, the second son of David and Bathsheba.  Solomon was given the name of Jedidiah by God, through the prophet Nathan, which means “God’s beloved.” (2 Samuel 12:25)  In the opening of this book, Solomon sets out his point of the book using the literary device of pessimism. Here he begins by stating how fruitless the pursuits of this world are, only to later show the contrast of a fulfilling life found in God. 

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  It’s interesting that Solomon opens with what should be glaringly obvious to us, we spend a lot of time trying to distract ourselves from how broken we are.  In following sports teams, shopping, fitness, whatever it is that distracts us from chasing after Jesus is a fruitless pursuit. But how do we find a meaningful life?  

 

I recently read an article by a guy named Rob Shaul, a gym owner and graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard academy, about being fulfilled in life.  He starts the article by saying there are no shortcuts in life, and that you don’t really want to take the shortcut anyway. Shaul went on in his article to discuss that fulfillment was found in commitment and discipline.  This sentiment is something that has been repeated in the writings of several elite level coaches. Another coach, Dan John, who was one of the oldest U.S. Olympians competing in the discuss into his forties, stated that the road to success is simple but it isn’t easy.  In his writings, he also highlights the importance of discipline in order to achieve success.

 

While Solomon isn’t interested in worldly success, and the coaches aren’t necessarily concerned with our spiritual well being, the truth seems to ring true.  If you are looking to find meaning in life, it requires discipline, and meaning in the Christian life requires disciplining our life to the word of God. Throughout the Bible we are given notions of true love being found when we are disciplined to God’s word.  Deuteronomy 6 tells us that we should bind the commandments to our forehead, and study them day and night. In Colossians 3, we are told to do everything as unto the Lord. But how can we do things for Him, unless we know what he has asked us to do? That knowledge can only come from reading God’s word, which requires discipline.

 

Life Application  Jesus, I don’t want to waste my life aimlessly trying to distract myself.  Help me to find your joy in the discipline of Your commands, and in studying your word daily.  Like Paul, help me to train myself like an olympian, but with the knowledge that my reward is everlasting life spent with You.          

 
-Tyler Galloway



Matthew _10

Scripture

 

Mark 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

 

Observation 

 

Mark 10:1 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.

 

Understanding 

 

Total dependence on God 

 

Mark 10:15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

 

Children totally depend on their parents for their well being food, love, warmth, and joy. They should depend on them, after all, they know better, they will provide the best care for them and give them what they need in all aspects of life. Us humans fall so short in parenting but how much more is our perfect Father in heaven going to give us what we need.

 

He will take care of me as I follow him on his journey that he’s invited me to join.

 

Our “riches” are what we need and have come to depend on.

 

We find it difficult to let go of our “riches” because we find it’s difficult to let go of our “self”. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6) and we must deny our self and take up our cross daily and follow Him (Matt. 16:24).

 

Jesus said that even the food he eats is to do the will of the father (John 4:34)

 

Application 

 

Let it go

 

What “riches” are we holding onto that is keeping us from following after Jesus?

 

You may say, “I follow Jesus, I follow the 10 commandments and I go to church”. The rich man did all the right things too! (Mark 10:17-22) When Jesus was talking to the rich man, he said for him to let go of everything, then come follow Him. Even though he did all the right things and followed the commandment, Jesus wanted to take him on a journey. And sadly that’s where a lot of us fall short. 

 

What is keeping you from following Jesus on the journey he has specifically for you?

 

Father, we need you! Holy Spirit show us what things are standing in the way from wholeheartedly following after Jesus. Search our hearts and reveal to us! We want to move into this new year with a decrease of ourselves and an increase of Jesus! We want to move with Him! In Jesus name, Amen!

Deborah Lee

  



Psalm 115

Happy New Year 2020!

SCRIPTURE

Psalm ‭115:3-4‬

‭‬‬

“Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes. Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.”

 

OBSERVATION-What does it say?

This psalm is all about giving God all the glory, honor, and praise! This psalm reminds us of God’s faithfulness. It reminds us that God is our helper and shield. It reminds us that God will bless those who put their trust in Him. It reminds us that there is no other that compares to our God!

  

UNDERSTANDING-What does it mean?
 
Don’t settle for the imitation brand. Get the original!
 
Have you ever wanted to purchase something, but the item was a bit out of your price range? Then instead of saving a bit more for it, you went ahead and bought a “knock off” version of that item so you could save a few bucks. Then once you took it home you began to notice some imperfections in the item. Then within weeks, the item begins to unravel and breakdown on you! I mean here you are with a broken down product, an empty wallet, and nothing to show for it. You were bamboozled!
 
In this psalm, the author is trying to express to the people of Israel to not fall into that trap. They serve a living God. They serve a God who is willing to help, shield, and bless them. The heavens belong to Him, and He is willingly bless them if they are to put their trust in Him.
So why put their faith in anything else?! Other nations may worship their gods. But their gods are man made. Their gods are imperfect. Their gods do not speak, see, or hear. Their gods are “knock offs” from the One True God. Worshiping those false gods will only leave them feeling…bamboozled!
 
LIFE APPLICATION
 
Put God first this New Year and see what He can do!
 
What a great way to start the New Year by our 28 days of prayer and fasting. It’s a great way we can put God first in our lives. It gives us a chance to “reboot” our systems, start fresh, get rid of all of life’s distractions, and put our focus back on God. So let’s put away those false idols in our lives that tend to take the place of God-(like work, money, television, internet, etc.). Let’s put God first. Let’s put Him back on the throne of our lives where He belongs. I’m sure He will bless us because of it! 😊
 
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”-Psalms‬ ‭37:5
 
-Moses Gaddi


Mark 8

Scripture
 
Mark 8:38
 
38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Jesus was speaking to the crowd and His disciples about what it means to be His disciple. A disciple must: 1) Deny themselves. 2) Take up their cross. 3) Follow Him. 4) Not be ashamed of Him.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Jesus did not sugar coat the cost of being His disciple.
 
They must lose themselves for Him, the Gospel and not be ashamed of Jesus. Those who are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of when He returns. Another parallel verse to Mark 8 is in Luke 9.
 
Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭9:26‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
Life Application
 
Don’t be ashamed of your faith. Proclaim it boldly!
 
On December 3rd, I posted in our SJ blog about what it looked like to lose our lives and take up our cross for Jesus. Today, we are reminded that we cannot be ashamed of Him, His Words and our faith in Him.
 
Tonight, many of us will be ringing in the New Year with our families. In 2020, let’s commit/re-commit fully to the work of the Lord, proclaim our faith boldly without shame to our families, friends and neighbors and see the harvest unfold in our lives and at DSC! If we feel like we don’t have much to offer Him, He is the One who is able to multiply faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed.
 
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:58‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Mark_7

Scripture

Mark 7:37

37 People were overwhelmed with amazement.  “He has done everything well,” they said.  “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Observation

Mark 7 starts with religious leaders finding fault in the disciples for eating with “unclean” hands.  They call out the failure to “follow tradition” to which Jesus counters that “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”  Further, he explains it is not that which that comes from outside the body that defiles; but, rather, that “from within, out of a person’s heart.”

He then goes on to heal a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter and heal a deaf and mute man. 

Understanding

Jesus lived a blameless life, full of calling people into accountability and healing those with ailments.  He was REAL through and through.  He did not care for the worship of people’s lips if the way they lived their lives showed something else set on the throne of their hearts.  He did not care of the religions laws and traditions were followed if the heart was not in the right place. 

And, as result of all of this, people followed him wherever He went.  People shared the excitement of His presence and the things He had done…even when He asked them not to. 

Life Application

I loved this last verse because it reminded me of visiting a village in India late at night.  Hearing of a woman who was having hearing problems as we were about to board the bus to go home and turning around to go find her, wake her up, lay hands on her, pray for her…and SEE HER HEALED.

Although I am not going this year, I am so excited that we have a team of people with hearts after God going to share His love with people in India.  The hands and feet of service will be multiplied, God’s love will be shared through fed bellies, healings of ALL kinds, people experiencing the deep-down-loved feeling of being seeing, known and loved.  I look forward in anticipation to the stories the team will return with, stories of seeing God move, stories of being used by Him.    

Let us live out REAL lives like Jesus did – lives where our words, actions and hearts all align and are in alignment with God’s heart.  And let us lift up those who are going, as an extension of Desert Streams Church in Santa Clarita, across the world to love on those in India. 

Rei

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.



Psalm_112

Scripture
 

Psalm 112:1 NIV

“Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.”

Observation-What does it say?
 
This Psalm describes the blessings of those who follow God’s commands.
 

-Children will be Mighty in the land.

-Generation will be blessed.

-Wealth and riches are in their houses.

-They are generous and lend freely. 

-They are never shaken.

-They will be remembered forever.

-They do not fear bad news.

-Their hearts are steadfast because they trust in the Lord.

-Hearts are secure and they have no fear.

-They freely give gifts to the poor.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 

Those who follow God’s commands not only gain His blessings, but are a blessing to others as well.

As I looked over the list I generated from this Psalm, I noticed that it did not only describe a person’s blessings from the Lord (as a result of following and submitting to Him), but also how those blessings have transformed those around them. I have re-listed those blessings, but with “personal” and “others” next to it. 
 

-Children will be Mighty in the land (transforms kids-others).

-Generation will be blessed (transforms next generation-others). 

-Wealth and riches are in their houses (personal blessings). 

-They are generous and lend freely (others).

-They are never shaken (personal). 

-They will be remembered forever (personal). 

-They do not fear bad news (personal). 

-Hearts are steadfast because they trust in the Lord (personal). 

-Hearts are secure and they have no fear (personal). 

-They freely give gifts to the poor (others).

 

Life Application
 

To be a blessing to others starts with putting God FIRST in our lives. 

The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with our whole being and love our neighbor as ourselves. The law can be summed up by those 2 commands, according to Scripture. (See Matthew 22:36-40).

We reap what we sow and others reap what we sow too. Just like how the consequences of sin never only affects the individual negatively, but also others, the consequences or outcome of putting God first and living a righteous and pure life also affects others, but in a blessed type of way. 

Therefore, let us seek to put Christ first in everything we do so that we will be blessed AND be a blessing to others also!

 

-Michelle Gaddi



Mark 5

Scripture

 

Mark 5:19-20 

Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

 

Observation – What does it say?

After healing the demon possessed man, Jesus didn’t allow the man to come with him. Rather, he told him to go home to his people and tell them what God did for him. The man proceeded to not only go to his home town but to the Decapolis, meaning 10 cities, telling people what God had done.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Jesus didn’t bring the man with him because he had a purpose for that man’s life, to share his testimony with others. We may wonder why we don’t just go to Heaven the moment we put our faith in Jesus. The reason we are still here, with breath in our lungs, is because God has a purpose for us! We are here to share our story of all God has done for us and how he has had mercy on us.

 

Life Application

I want to be like this man! He was so overcome with what God had done for him he couldn’t keep silent! He went from city to city telling people all about it. And as a result, the people were amazed.

God, remind us today of all you’ve done for us. And may we joyfully and passionately share with others all about it. Give us opportunity, even today, to share with someone. Amen.

 

– Levi Thompson