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!
 

Acts__11

Scripture

Acts 11:12

The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them.

 

Observation – What does it say?

Immediately following his mysterious vision from God, the three men sent by Cornelius came to the house where Peter was staying. He heard the Holy Spirit speak to him, commanding him to go with these men. So he did.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

What stood out to me was the intimate relationship Peter had with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit spoke to him. Plainly. Clearly. Scripture doesn’t say, “Peter thought it might have been the Spirit speaking to him.” It was a matter of fact, because Peter had come to discern His voice.

And, the second side of the coin here is that Peter didn’t just hear, he obeyed. Jews didn’t associate with Gentiles, much less journey with them and step foot in their home. This would seem like an absurd thing for God to ask him to do. Yet, he didn’t question God and went.

 

Life Application 

Hear and obey.

I long to hear God’s voice more clearly. And, when God speaks I want to steward his voice well by obeying. How many times have I asked God to bless me to hear his voice, and yet how many times has he spoken clearly and, because of fear or what he was asking seemed too hard, I hesitated and ultimately disobeyed?

God, forgive me for the times you have spoken and I didn’t obey! May your voice become more clear to me and grant me the faith to trust you, even when what you say doesn’t seem to make sense or to be what I would prefer. Make me like David, a man who will do everything you have in mind for me to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

– Levi Thompson



Proverbs_15

Scripture 

Proverbs 15:16-18 

16 Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, Than great treasure and turmoil with it.  Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, Than a fattened ox served with hatred.  A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

Solomon’s proverbs use sayings that show their point with deep contrasts, the second half of the saying being the antithesis of the first half.  The proverbs “reveal sound psychology and accurate observation of life” (Butterworth).  Furthermore, they demonstrate what life looks like when guided by wisdom instead of folly.  In these verses, Solomon expresses how having a little in peace is better than living in luxury that is coupled with strife.  Or, to quote a notoriously big rapper (pun intended), “It’s like the more money we come across,

The more problems we see.”

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

For a long time, the holiday season brought me a great deal of anxiety.  Early in high school, my family split and my brother and I soon had to deal with going to multiple different locations and eating multiple meals for the holiday, whether it was Thanksgiving or Christmas, etc..  The magic of the holidays, and their ability to bring people together to celebrate was lost.  It actually got worse when I got married.  Two people, who come from divorced households, equals a lot of in-laws.  Oddly enough, the movie “Four Christmases” came out the same year we got married and I could totally relate.     

 

The holidays often bring anxiety to people, so much so that hospitals experience a higher number of cardiac emergencies during the holiday times.  We are now deep into that season and we are traditionally gathering with relatives and avoid talking about two things, religion and politics.  But, this year we seem to not be gathering enough, talking about politics too much and could use a little more religion.  For a lot of people, we are in a season of having a little less than in years past.  It took me several years to look past the disappointment of my family and look to the real reason we celebrate, which is God’s faithfulness.  God was faithful to send His son and he continues to be faithful.  We may be in a season where we are weeping while we sow, but God will be faithful and we will reap in joy (Psalm 126).  When we seek the lord, He is faithful to meet us and renew our strength (Isaiah 40:27-31).  So even though we seem to be in a time with little, we have much when our peace is found in the Lord.

 

Life Application 

Jesus, help me to spread your joy to those around me in this season.  Help me to be a light on a hill for all to see.  Help me to rejoice in your faithfulness, despite being surrounded by what seems like a world of strife.  Thank you for your love and faithfulness in a world that is not faithful.  

    

-Tyler Galloway



Acts__9

Scripture – What stood out?

ACTS 9 

…Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

Observation – What does it say?

Acts 9 recounts Saul’s conversion and immediate thrust into ministry preaching Jesus as the Messiah. Saul who had mercilessly persecuted Jesus and his followers, is miraculously converted by Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Understanding – What does it mean?

I could probably write about the story of Saul of Tarsus who later became known as the apostle Paul for a very very long time. But what stood out to me about this chapter in Acts was how quickly Saul began to preach about Jesus. Not just anywhere either but in the synagogues where the same Jewish leaders, (where Saul himself!) were trying to root out and persecute and destroy Jesus followers!

Saul began preaching after several days. 

This is what stood out to me in Amos 6:1 Woe to you who are complacent in Zion…

Saul began proving to the Jewish leaders pretty much immediately after his conversion that Jesus was in fact the anointed one, the son of David, the son of God Himself.

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

Lord it has been heavy on my heart lately, that I am not moving with enough urgency in all that you have asked me to do. I don’t know what to do differently because I get so caught up with the world. I know that my place in Your story is different from the apostle Paul’s but I also know I have grown complacent. Help me to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me. Where do I need to improve? Where do I need to grow? Show me Lord the areas of my complacency, where I may be blind, and peel away the scales from my eyes.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneth lee

 



Proverbs___13

Scripture

Proverbs 13:20 NLT

“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

King Solomon is considered to be one of the wisest people in the Bible. He was said to be the wisest of all the kings. His wisdom was given to him by God. He uses the book of Proverbs to pass along this wisdom he was blessed with to future generations and to anyone who is willing to listen and take heed to it. Here is another one of Solomon’s wise truths.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.

It’s a saying we have all heard before. I think it derived from this verse too. King Solomon knew the troubles that would arise if you hung out with the wrong people. He also knew the benefits that associating with the right people can bring.

I can tell you from experience that this saying holds true. When I was younger, I hung out with knuckleheads. Needless to say, I was a knucklehead. I found myself doing things that I really shouldn’t have been doing. I was pretty much a sheep, following the lead of even dumber sheep. It was a life that probably would have had me ending up in trouble with the law, working dead-end jobs barely making ends meet, or even dead! I am glad that God got a hold of me before it was too late! It’s because of God, I was able to get my life together. He surrounded me with the right people, wise people; people in my life who would stick with me no matter what. He put people in my life who would challenge me to be a better person, a better Christ Follower. And let me tell you, because of these people God surrounded me with, (people I hang out with and call my friends), I am who I am today.

In order to be that person God wants you to be, you gotta have that great supporting cast around you. What kind of people are you choosing to surround yourself with?

 

Life Application

Be part of God’s family. Plug into all that DSC has to offer to connect, even during this Covid season.

At DSC, we still have creative avenues to stay connected to the Body even through quarantine. Here are some of the ways: Sunday Livestream/Chat, Wednesday Worship/Chat, Sermons/Worship/Youth/Kids stuff on our DSC YouTube channel, Pastor Gary’s Christmas devotional (available on Amazon), Monday Zoom Bible studies, Daily Bible readings and Soul Journals, Justin’s Prophetic Zooms, Personal Phone Calls/Texts/Emails/Social Media, FaceTime/Zoom, Special Drop offs (food/gifts), Mail, Sunday Surge (Youth) on Instagram Live, Surge Hangouts on Zoom, Kids Church Zooms, Sunday Zoom Prayer Team, Kids Church teaching, Video/multimedia ministry, DSC Parking Lot stuff (worship, donations, and upcoming Christmas service), etc. 

We must continue to surround ourselves with people who want the same thing as us…to become better disciples of Jesus Christ.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”-Proverbs 27:17

-Moses Gaddi



Proverbs_12

Scripture 

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

In these Proverbs, King Solomon compares and contrasts wisdom with foolishness, righteousness with wickedness, liars with the trustworthy and lazy with the diligent. 

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

Kindness is healing to the heart, so let us spread kindness and cheer instead of stress and anxiety.

 

Life Application

Be kind.

There are so many people with weighed down hearts that are anxious, depressed and broken. Let us be a beacon of light to those people and allow the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit of Kindness in us this holiday season. In a broken and darkened world, we must allow Christ’s light to shine through us.

Dear Lord,

Please reveal to us the areas we need to be kind to one another and to the outside world as well. I pray we would be a refreshing presence in a world that is weighed down and thirsty for You. Amen. 

 

-Michelle Gaddi 



Proverbs__11

Scripture

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭11:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Another set of proverbs King Solomon shares with the readers comparing the godly and the wicked. King Solomon reminds the readers that God looks after the wise, that true wisdom comes from God, and those who seek it/Him will surely find it/Him. And those who choose to live wickedly and trust in their own wisdom are surely doomed to fail.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
At the end of the day, God will hold us all accountable for our actions here on earth.
 
The verse I chose this morning really stuck out to me because it reminds me of one of Pastor Gary’s sermons he taught when I first attended DSC. In that sermon, Pastor Gary talked about God holding us all accountable for our actions here on earth. God will ask us what we did with our time, gifts, talents, and finances that He had blessed us with. How did we use it to further his Kingdom? Will God really care that we used it to buy that dream house, dream car, or even put our kids through that “fancy university”?! Or did we seek God and His wisdom wholeheartedly, asking Him how we can use those things He has blessed us with, to accomplish His mission? 🤔
 
Life Application
 
You can’t buy your way out of this one!
 
We all heard that saying before. We usually hear it when the time comes for us to pay for our actions (usually from our own bad decisions we have made). We receive our punishment. And no matter how hard we plead and beg to get out of it, there is no escaping it…”rent is due”! But why go through with all that when you don’t have to?! King Solomon, considered to be one of the wisest kings of his time, a man who has seen it all and did it all, was granted his wish from God. That was to be blessed with wisdom, true wisdom, wisdom from God. So why not take heed and advantage of what these proverbs say? It’s not just any cheap advice you can get from a fortune cookie with lucky numbers at the end of it. It is godly advice. It comes from a man chosen by God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, that can be used to bring wisdom to those who choose to follow and adhere to it. So the choice is up to us. Will we choose to be wise? Or is doom in our future from our foolish decisions? As for me, I choose to trust and follow God, and receive His infinite wisdom.
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


Acts___5

Scripture 

Acts 5:18-20 

They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail.  But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.” 

 

Observation-What does it say? 

In the opening passages of Acts, the author, Luke, places an emphasis on the power that accompanied this community of Christians who were so closely knit together.  After the day of pentecost, the number of believers was growing rapidly.  As noted in Acts 2:40-47, the apostles were displaying signs and wonders of God’s power, which resulted in an overflow of generosity and love during their fellowship.  The move of God’s love and power among the new believers rubbed the Jewish leaders the wrong way, resulting in the imprisonment of Peter and other apostles twice within the first five chapters.  This second imprisonment was ordered by the high priest, who was filled with jealousy.  But, almost as soon as they were imprisoned, God sent an angel to release them.  God makes a way, when there seems to be no way.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?   

I had a pretty horrible car accident when I was 18.  It was the jaws of life and airlifted to a hospital with several specialist type of horrible.  My mom was the first one to make it to the hospital and they told her the type of news no parent would ever want to hear.  The doctors told her to make her peace and call who she needed to call, because it didn’t look good for me.  To clarify, I don’t have any memory of this, but I know from the stories of those who were there what took place over the next few hours and days.  My mom took a moment to be with me before I was wheeled into surgery, and in that time she prayed for God to heal me.  Over the next few days, people poured into the waiting room at Loma Linda Hospital to be with my mom and pray.  Since I am writing this, you could probably guess the end of the story, I came through and became physical evidence of the miraculous power of prayer.

 

Throughout scripture, there are several examples of God’s miraculous power that moves when His people gather together to pray and worship.  The walls of Jericho came tumbling down during an intense worship service (Joshua 6).  300 men with trumpets defeated an army of armed men (Judges 7).  Through prayer and worship, Paul and Silas converted a jailer (Acts 16).  We live in a time where we need to see a miraculous move of God’s spirit.  While it seems there is no way, He can make a way.  Let us not forsake gathering together to worship and pray for a movement of His power.


Life Application 

Jesus, help me to never take for granted the life you have given me.  Help me to lay hold of every opportunity for you, encouraging those around me to call out to you.  Jesus, pour out your spirit on us and let generosity flow from your people.  
 
-Tyler Galloway


Amos_1

Scripture – What stood out?

Amos 1

11 This is what the Lord says:

“For three sins of Edom,

    even for four, I will not relent.

Because he pursued his brother with a sword

    and slaughtered the women of the land,

because his anger raged continually

    and his fury flamed unchecked,

12 I will send fire on Teman

    that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah.”

 

Observation – What does it say?

This book is a collection of Amos’s visions, sermons, and poems, centered around the failings of the nation of Israel and its neighboring nations. Verse two is a one verse description of Israel’s impending fall, and immediately is followed up by what is about to happen to four of Israel’s neighbors. All not so good things.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

This week, my wife and I have had some very meaningful but intense discussions about “forgive and forget” as it pertains to the bible. And inevitably these conversations lead to very fun and meaningful discussions on theology and bible semantics.

 

Here are two things that have come up in our conversations:

 

  • There is a healthy tension/cohesion that exists between Father and Son. Matthew 5:17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. (NLT)
  • Our understanding of the word forget is different from the biblical authors’ and God’s. Lois Tverberg in her fascinating book Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus writes: 
    • Interestingly, forget is almost never used in combination with sin. But often the Bible does say that God will “not remember” our sins.*
    • Because Hebrew focuses on the action rather than the thought, it doesn’t necessarily imply that God loses the memory of sins in his infinite mind. It simply means that he has decided to forgo prosecution.*

 

So when God decides to forgive our sins, he’s not forgetting the fact that they happened, he’s just not going to punish us for them…although he should, especially for those of us that don’t repent and turn back to him. In that same way, Tverberg analogously explains,

 

If you’ve ever been in a close relationship, you know what this is like. A wife whose feelings are hurt by her husband (or vice versa) “decides to forget”—to put the offense out of her mind even though the memory doesn’t go away. Out of love, you simply choose not to act in revenge for the sin. And once you have done this, the memory itself tends to subside.*

 

In our discussions my wife and I are clear that judgment by God is coming and that God is not a God of just the perpetrator but also a God of the victim as well. But in the meantime we are left to figure out just exactly what we ought to do when somebody wrongs us. The bible makes it clear to forgive. That much is certain. But how do we move forward with some of the people who have hurt us so horribly. I think that is the question we are left to wonder.

 

God’s discipline, much like his judgement is perfect. Ours is not. And we are left as imperfect people trying to deal with one another imperfectly.

 

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

 

Lord, I have read Amos and I still have complete faith in you. I pray for a little more wisdom and understanding. Teach me to bring healing and Godly council to others that have been so hurt by some of the people that were the closest to them. Teach me how to forgive. Teach me how to teach. Teach me Father to live with those around me without a spirit of condemnation, always remembering to leave the final act of judgement up to You.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneth lee

 *Tverberg, Lois. Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus . Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


Proverbs_8

Scripture

Proverbs 8:12 and 35-36

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion… For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.
 

Observation

In this chapter of Proverbs wisdom is personified and somewhat lays out what following God looks like through this lens. It mentions the importance of knowledge, but also mentions the importance of prudence and discretion, which seems to contradict wisdom.
 

Understanding

When I a freshman in high school I had to read the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. I remember that I didn’t want to read “another book about racism (these were my words)” because I figured that’s all this book had to offer. My father told me to give it chance because I might like it, and this book introduced some of my favorite characters in a novel to this day. One of which was Calpurnia, the cook of the main family that the book focuses on. She one day takes the children to church with her where she has a run-in with one of the ladies there, and Cal defends the children but not herself. The main character (Scout) questions her about this and she responds: “Folks don’t like to have someone around knowing more than they do, it aggravates them. You’re not going to change anyone by talking right, they’ve got to want to learn themselves…” I remember this quote blowing my mind for one sheer reason… people don’t like a know-it-all or someone who always talks at them rather than with them.

And this Proverb and Cal perfectly capture the heart of wisdom: knowing when to speak knowledge and when to keep you mouth shut. The word prudence refers to regard for the future, so if we are to be people that love well and act well we must have a regard for others and our future with them. Jesus didn’t come into the world to only share what He knew. Instead He used wisdom and understanding to relate to those around Him, so that He could effectively love everyone. Wisdom is knowing when to hold your tongue despite knowing the answer. Wisdom coupled with prudence equals success in the eyes of God, but those who only speak for the sake of appearing a certain way.
 

Life Application

May we be people that do not detest wisdom and patience and replace it with only knowledge and haste. Cal ends with this: “and when they don’t want to learn there’s nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language.” I’m not saying revert to speaking their language, but rather know when to exercise wisdom. Let’s not aggravate but instead offer a safe listening environment, conscious about our future with this person.

-Allison Khan



Joel 2

Scripture

Joel 2:12-14 ESV

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?”

Observation-What does it say?

Judah was invaded by an army of locusts that destroyed everything-the field, the ground, the grain, trees, etc. (Joel 1:10-12) and ultimately led to famine in the land. The prophet Joel was warning Judah of additional destruction if they do not repent of their evil ways and return to the Lord.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Repentance leads to restored relationship with the Father, but rebellion leads to destruction.

This is another prophecy being given to a nation, revealing what God will do in His righteous anger and holiness if they don’t repent and turn from their wicked ways and return to Him. However, it is also a book that highlights how God would respond if they sought His forgiveness and repented from their evil ways. He is a God who is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, with the power to leave a blessing instead of a curse (Joel 2: 13-14).

Life Application

God calls His church, His bride to repentance.

Repentance is different than just asking for forgiveness because repentance involves a 180 degree turn from a life of sin. Just as Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, but rather told her to go and leave her life of sin, (John 8:10-11), He commands us to do the same.

God is very slow to anger, giving us so many warnings before revealing His wrath, but His return is imminent (near). Although no one knows the day or hour of Jesus’ return, the Day of the Lord and the Day of Judgment is near. Will we be judged for choosing our own selfish wants and desires or will we be judged and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.” 

I learned that there will be 2 types of judgments–one for His children and one for those who closed their hearts to Jesus, which will result in destruction and despair in hell. So, let us not give up in prayer and opportunities to share with our loved ones and those on our PII (prayer, invest, invite) card who do not yet know Jesus. We must also pray for our missionaries who are spreading the Gospel to the unreached parts of the world. 

Dear Jesus, it is true that Your Word is like a double edged sword, convicting us straight to the heart, judging our thoughts and the attitudes of the heart (Heb. 4:12). Writing this honestly convicted me to the point of making my heart hurt. Thank You for the hope and reminder that You will be returning soon to judge the living and the dead. Thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ who made a way for us all to come to You and be freed from the sin that used to bind us. Greater are You who are in us than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4).

May I keep these truths in my heart when I am tempted to stray. I also pray for those in the Church (with a big C) in a season of rebellion. Please draw them back to You in repentance.

Additionally, I pray for continued opportunities and boldness to share Your testimony and my testimony with those who don’t yet know the Good News and our brothers and sisters who are currently in the mission fields around the world. Thank You that You are not slow in keeping Your promise, but are patient with us all, not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance  (2 Peter 3:9). May Your Kingdom come, as we continue to work together as Your hands and feet, shining and sharing Your light in this darkened world. We pray this all in Your name and for Your glory alone Jesus, Amen.

 

-Michelle Gaddi