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!

Joshua 21


Joshua 21:45

“Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.”

Observation-What does it say?

All the promises that God swore to the ancestors of the people of Israel were now fulfilled. The land He had promised them is now theirs. The people of Israel can now find rest on each side of their lands, knowing that God has helped them conquer all their enemies. All the Israelites have to do now is move their things and settle in, and give thanks to the LORD.

Understanding-What does it mean?

 Although it may not always be on the timing we desire, God always fulfills His promises.

 The people of Israel waited a long time until they finally entered the promise land. The person who was supposed to lead them there, Moses, didn’t even get to see it in his lifetime…and Moses was old!!!

 Abraham waited a long time until he received God’s promise of having descendants that would outnumber the stars in the sky, and being a father of many nations. 

 Although Abraham and Moses may have doubted God, or may not have lived to see God’s promises fulfilled, one thing is for sure. God always delivered every promise to them. 

“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Life Application

Knowing that God fulfills all His promises, what will I do while I wait upon them?

It’s easy to be disheartened, lose hope and faith as we wait upon the Lord. But I encourage you to take heart, keep strong in your faith and trust in God as we wait. I believe it is during these times of waiting God builds our character, trust, and faith. And if we stay the course and continue to follow God during these times, not only will we be blessed from it, but our family will be blessed because of it because we are laying the groundwork for them to follow when the time comes for them to take our place.

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭25:4-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land;” Psalms‬ ‭37:34‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Thank You Lord for staying true to Your Word and keeping Your promises. May You grant me the strength and perseverance as I wait upon You. May I continue to search for You and follow You. May Your will and promises be fulfilled here on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
-Moses Gaddi

Joshua 20


Joshua 20:1-3, 6

Then the Lord said to Joshua: “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood…They are to stay in that city until they have stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then they may go back to their own home in the town from which they fled.”


After the land is disbursed by lot to all of the tribes of Israel, the Lord instructs Joshua to establish Cities of Refuge within which one who had accidentally killed another might find sanctuary from a family member of the deceased seeking revenge.


These Cities of Refuge, in addition to being an important part of the civil and legal system of justice in the community of Israel, also stand as an OT type and symbol of the forgiveness that Jesus will provide believers under the New Covenant.

Psalm 9:9
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble

Proverbs 18:10
The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

This is a timely reading in light of Pastor Gary’s current teaching on the Ten Commandments. Like the perception of those who interpret God’s commands as petty, controlling and restricting, so might someone on the outside of one of the cities of refuge consider those held within its enclosure as being confined, imprisoned and punished. Yet to the one who is within the walls because they have sought out the protection that the city offers, he receives relief, liberty and mercy. The one who seems “imprisoned” experiences freedom from the guilt, fear and penalty of sin that still hang over the head of the one on the outside. The one within the enclosure and the protection it provides – submitted to its regulations and boundaries – is freer than the one outside of those boundaries and restrictions will ever be.

Life Application

The Word and commands of the Lord bring freedom and I can never know true freedom outside of obedience and submission to them. Within the boundaries they provide, I may freely roam and experience all that God intends for me. Safe within the limits meant to provide safety, security and protection from all that might befall me outside of their perimeter I enjoy true freedom and liberty.

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom

John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

To check out the conversation or to join in, click here.
– Gary Parker

Joshua 19


Joshua 19:32-39

32 The sixth lot came out for Naphtali according to its clans:

33 Their boundary went from Heleph and the large tree in Zaanannim,passing Adami Nekeb and Jabneel to Lakkum and ending at the Jordan. 34 The boundary ran west through Aznoth Tabor and came out at Hukkok. It touched Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west and the Jordanc] on the east. 35 The fortified towns were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinnereth, 36 Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, 37 Kedesh,Edrei, En Hazor, 38 

Iron, Migdal El, Horem, Beth Anath and Beth Shemesh. There were nineteen towns and their villages.

39 These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the tribe of Naphtali, according to its clans.


This is a continuation of Chapter 18s allotments of the inherited land.  These particular versus cover the allotment attributed to Naphtali.


If you’re anything like me, these chapters are difficult to read and engage with…but I find that as I did into the details, read the commentaries and such, this is just another reminder of how

God is ALWAYS at work in the details.

Matthew Henry’s commentary states, “Naphtali lay furthest north of all the tribes, bordering on Mount Libanus. The city of Leshem, or Liash, lay on the utmost edge of it to the north, and therefore when the Danites had made themselves masters of it, and called it Dan, the length of Canaan from north to south was reckoned from Dan to Beersheba. It had Zebulun on the south, Asher on the west, and Judah upon Jordan, probably a city of that name, and so distinguished from the tribe of Judah on the east. It was in the lot of this tribe, near the waters of Merom, that Joshua fought and routed Jabin, ch. 11:1 . etc. In this tribe stood Capernaum and Bethsaida, on the north end of the sea of Tiberias, in which Christ did so many mighty works; and the mountain (as is supposed) on which Christ preached, Mt. 5:1

So, whereas I would probably skim through a chapter like this, the digging in is where we learn more of Christ’s story and how the areas that he walked and people that were present during his life came to be.

In the verses prior, we learn of Asher’s allotment…perhaps another ramble of facts, but commentary shares that “Anna the prophetess, who was a constant resident in the temple at the time of our Saviour’s birth (Lu. 2:36)” was from there.  

Every piece of the Bible is intentionally included for a reason.

So many times I’ve skimmed through things like land allotments and genealogies and considered them boring; but taking time to study the Bible is teaching me that these details are actually but valuable pieces of information that give context and meaning and history to the greatest story on Earth – God sending His Son so that we may spend eternity with Him.   

Life Application

Dear God, thank you for always being at work in the details.  I’m so grateful that you forever see the “big picture” and our place in it.  May I be quick to follow your lead and your will in ways big and small so that the bigger picture of bringing your salvation to everyone we know and love.  May I remember that even the seemingly inconsequential moments of the day could actually be a part of someone else’s story of ultimately encountering Jesus. 


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

– Rei

Joshua 18


Joshua 18:3

So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?”

Observation – What does it say?

The Israelites had only taken partial possession of the promised land. Although they had conquered and destroyed many cities and peoples and the country was under their control (verse 1), there was still much of the land yet to be taken. Joshua challenges Israel to stop waiting to take possession of it.

Understanding – What does it mean?

It is important not to delay taking hold of the fullness of what God has promised.

As I read this, I felt challenged to not grow content or complacent. It is so easy to look at all God has blessed me with and all the great things I have experienced with him and to lose my sense of passion and hunger to pursue more. Today I hear the challenge to battle luke-warmness. “How long until you fight to take hold of all God has promised?”

I am reminded that no matter how great past experiences with God have been, how clearly I’ve heard his voice or how significantly he’s used me in the lives of others, I’ve only scratched the surface of what God has made available!

I don’t perfectly resemble or represent Jesus yet. The mission has not been completed. The harvest is still plentiful and the workers still few. I haven’t reached the depth of intimacy with God that he has invited me to enjoy. How could I slow my pursuit now? Like the Israelites, we would have to be fools to stop now and settle for only part of what God has promised.

Life Application

Take hold of God and his promises!

God, forgive my complacency. I choose today to go after you and to cry out to you for more! Fill us, your church, with greater passion and hunger for your kingdom to invade the earth. Consume our hearts and thoughts with a vision of what you desire to do in us and through us. Amen.

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

 – Levi Thompson

Joshua 17

Joshua‬ ‭17:14-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“Then the people of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, although I am a numerous people, since all along the Lord has blessed me?” And Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up by yourselves to the forest, and there clear ground for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.” Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.””
Observation-What does it say?
The land that was allotted to Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s descendants), are listed as a continuation from what we read yesterday in chapter 16.
In verse 14, the people of Joseph started complaining about the amount of land allotted to them, saying that it was not enough and that they deserved more. Joshua encouraged them that they are strong enough to take more land for themselves, but the people of Joseph had their excuses. At the end of this back and forth, Joshua ended up encouraging them that they will be able to take over the hill country despite the Canaanites being so strong. 
Understanding-What does it mean?

Joshua did not pity their complaints. He encouraged them to turn their complaints into action.

As the descendants of Joseph ( Ephraim and Manasseh) were complaining about their lot being too little, Joshua made them focus on the solution instead of the problem. In addition, he encouraged them by reminding them of their own words ( vs. 14) and stating that they were under the Lord’s blessing, they are a numerous people and they do have great power. Instead of griping about their situation, Joshua reminded them that they are able to get more lot with God’s help and blessing.

Romans 8:37 NLT-No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

Life Application

We need to be reminded of who we are in Christ in order to turn our complaints into action.  
We say we know who we are and we go so far as to say we believe it, but it’s proven when put to the test. The descendants of Joseph were encouraged to take more land instead of complaining about their lot, but their initial reaction was fear, not faith. Joshua ended up reminding them what they already knew about themselves, and challenged them to walk it out. 
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When I get tempted to forget who I am in Christ, I not only get encouragement from His Word, but I go back to some encouraging words spoken over me by respected leaders of the faith. Those words are authority, encouragement, joy and wisdom. It helps me live out my life with authority as a leader and in the encouragement, joy and wisdom that He has gifted me with. 

Dear Lord, when we get tempted to complain and forget who we are in You, I pray that You would send someone to speak Your truth into our lives and we would listen to that wisdom instead of seeking out someone to have a pity/complaining fest with. I also pray that we would be those type of encouragers, as Joshua was, to others who have forgotten and continue to live their lives in fear, not faith. With Your Spirit, we are more than conquerors. We love You  and give all glory and honor back to You. Amen.

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

-Michelle Gaddi

Joshua 16

Joshua 16:10
“They did not drive the Canaanites out of Gezer, however, so the people of Gezer live as slaves among the people of Ephraim to this day.”
Joshua is continuing to give the allotments of land to the different tribes of Israel. This time he gives some land to Ephraim, Joseph’s son. The land that God promised His people is now all theirs! One problem however…they did not drive out the Canaanites out from their land. They live amongst the people of Ephraim to this day. Is this what God had wanted for them? Why not finish the work God had called them to, and take the land completely?
God wants what is best for His children. We must trust and obey God to receive His best from Him.
As we are currently learning in Pastor Gary’s sermon series about the Ten Commandments, we now understand the reason why God put them in place for His people. It’s not to be a “killjoy”, but it is because God loves and cares for us so much that He gives us these commandments to live under so we can benefit from them both physically and spiritually. God put them into our lives as a safeguard to protect us from life’s pitfalls and evil. God wants the best for us. It is up to us to trust Him/His ways, above our own, to fully receive His best.
The people of Israel are God’s chosen ones. God has blessed them with a new life and a new land. He tells His people to go get what is theirs, the land that He has promised them, and to take it all for themselves. But they failed to do one thing. They let some of the “old tenants” stay behind, and live amongst them. (Ephraim’s tribe did not drive out the Canaanites in this passage, and the tribe of Judah did not drive out the Jebusites in the previous chapter). God knew the problems that would arise if His people were to share the land amongst the Canaanites and Jebusites. God didn’t want these other people’s pagan beliefs and sinful lifestyle to infect His people’s mindsets. God knew that if His people didn’t take the land that He has blessed them with completely, that His people will fall back into living that sinful life that He had just delivered them from. God has delivered them from their enemies, He has given them this new land filled with milk and honey, He is giving them a fresh start, He is willing to give His people His best, but their disobedience of His instructions will cause them to not receive it. They will be hindered because of it.
“If you listen to these regulations and faithfully obey them, the LORD your God will keep his covenant of unfailing love with you, as he promised with an oath to your ancestors. He will love you and bless you, and he will give you many children. He will give fertility to your land and your animals. When you arrive in the land he swore to give your ancestors, you will have large harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and great herds of cattle, sheep, and goats.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭7:12-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Life Application
Settling for anything but God’s best is just plain mediocre!
Why settle for ground beef everyday, when I can get filet mignon? Sure ground beef is good, but it really doesn’t compare to a nice, juicy, tender piece of filet mignon that is well cooked and prepared by the world’s renowned chef! And that is what I’ll be missing out on in life if I settle for anything but God’s best for me. God wants His best for me. Am I willing to trust in Him, obey Him, and wait on Him if need be?
Dear God, thank You for giving me Your best each and everyday. I know at times it may not seem like Your best to me, but I know that You have a purpose behind everything. I know in the long run, if I continue to trust in You, and obey You, I will  be a better man because of it, and I will reap Your blessings from it. Help me not to settle for this world’s best, but to strive for Your best. Thank You God for seeing the best in me. I love You Lord Jesus. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
-Moses Gaddi

Joshua 15


Joshua 15:16-17

And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.


As the conquest of Canaan winds down, the disbursement of the lands allotted to the various tribes begins. In a foreshadowing of Judah’s future pre-eminence among the tribes the first lot falls to Judah, the tribe from whence the Messiah will come. Caleb is given the land promised to him beforehand (by the command of the Lord) as a reward for his obedience and valor when spying out the land with Joshua. With some inhabitants still needing to be driven from the land, Caleb offers his daughter in marriage to the man who would attack and capture the city of Kiriath Sepher. Caleb’s brother, Othniel, takes the city and so receives Caleb’s daughter, Aksah, in marriage. Before departing to her new home, Aksah petitions her father to extend the field that he had given her to include a portion that includes springs of water, and Caleb does so. The chapter ends noting that the tribe of Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites from Jerusalem.


God works in the present with the future in mind.

A quick study of the life of Othniel reveals that God would raise him up as a deliverer to lead Israel away from their idolatry and disobedience in intermarrying with the heathen culture. Othniel becomes the first judge of Israel who, in the power of the Spirit of God, wins a 40 year peace for the nation.

While Othniel was simply focusing on being courageous and obedient to the Lord (and unbeknownst to him), God was using the opportunity as a testing ground that would produce in Othniel the character, faith and strength that would be needed to lead Israel in the future.

Life Application

God wants to use what I am going through today in order to use me in the future.

What a great lesson for my life! God is never just working in the now and there is always a purpose for the things that God is allowing into my life that is greater than I can perceive.
Lord, instead of griping about the difficulties and challenges in my life, help me to understand, remember, and be thankful that in all things, you are at work, desiring to perfect my character, mature my faith and strengthen my resolve so that you might qualify me to serve you, your people and the lost in ever increasing and impactful capacities. Help me to have a sense of your future plans for me even in the present moment.
To check put the discussion or to join in, click here
Gary Parker

Joshua 14


Joshua 14:10-11

10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 

I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.”


The Israelites had received their land inheritances.  But Caleb already knows his inheritance so in v. 6, Caleb approaches Joshua and gives full account of it – given to him by the Lord through Moses because of his faithfulness and integrity shown when he was sent out to the land of Kadesh.


At eighty-five Caleb still feels just as young and strong as he did at forty; and I get the idea that this isn’t just a young at heart or young in his mind type thing…he truly IS just as strong and vigorous. (v. 11).

I haven’t yet experienced what it feels like to be 45 or 85 years old.  But I do know that at 34, I feel far different than I did at 24 or 14 years old…and I love the idea of feeling the way I do now 40 years from now, at seventy-four.

But the point is this…

We are reminded that with God’s promises, we get far more than face value.

 Matthew Henry’s commentary states, “This was the fruit of the promise, and out-did what was said; for God not only gives what he promises, but he gives more: life by promise shall be life, and health, and strength, and all that which will make the promised life a blessing and comfort. Moses had said in his prayer (Ps. 90:10) that at eighty years old even their strength is labour and sorrow, and so it is most commonly. But Caleb was an exception to the rule; his strength at eighty-five was ease and joy: this he got by following the Lord fully. Caleb here takes notice of this to the glory of God, and as an excuse for his asking a portion which he must fetch out of the giants’ hands,” hence the reason he calls out that he is “just as vigorous to go out to battle” (v. 11).

Two things are shown here.

God ALWAYS delivers on His promises and He makes a way…even if the way or the circumstances don’t make sense to us.  While it wouldn’t make sense that someone would maintain their youthfulness and vigorousness for forty years, God knew that Caleb would need that in order to take the land that was promised from the giants.

 Life Application

Dear God, I’m so grateful that with you it’s never a question of IF you will deliver.  Thank you for being a steadfast, trustworthy source of provision.  May I remember that even when things don’t quite add up in my human brain, that you’ve thought of everything and you can, will and do make way.  Knowing that, may I live more fully for you and in a way that draws others to you so they too may experience you.


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

Joshua 13


Joshua 13:14,33

14 But to the tribe of Levi he gave no inheritance, since the food offerings presented to the Lord, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as he promised them…

33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the Lord, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them.

Observation – What does it say?

I imagine all the tribes of Israel are thrilled and filled with excitement. The battle is over for the time being and each tribe is about to find out which portion of this beautiful land they will own and get to call home. As the people of Israel gathered around to hear which portion of the promised land God had allotted for them to inherit, I imagine the excitement on the faces of the Levites. But rather than describing the borders of the Levite territory and the land they would possess, they hear that they were given no inheritance! It sounds like a total rip off at first! That is, until they hear that instead of land they are being given the Lord himself as their inheritance, along with all the food offerings presented to God.

Understanding – What does it mean?

The Levites were set apart as the priests, those who would serve God in the temple and be the mediators between God and the people of Israel. Rather than cultivating the land like their Israelite brothers, they would spend their days ministering to God on behalf of Israel and then ministering to Israel on behalf of God. That was the role of a priest under the old covenant. Here’s the twist: Under the new covenant (established through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus) every single believer is declared a priest.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Speaking to all believers, Peter calls us a royal priesthood and God’s special possession. We are all the ‘new Levites’ if you will. We are God’s special possession and he is ours. 

All believers are called to be priests, who don’t covet a worldly inheritance like the rest of the world but who pursue God as their inheritance.

Life Application

Take my eyes off of the material things and celebrate that God is my inheritance!

God, how amazing is this truth! Thank you so much for giving us yourself as our inheritance. May we live to minister to you, to seek you on behalf of others and to be your voice to them. Keep us from getting pulled into the pursuit off the things of this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.
– Levi Thompson

Joshua 12

Joshua 12:1

These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, including all the eastern side of the Arabah:

Observation-What does it say?
This chapter is basically a list of all the kings defeated by the Israelites from the time of Moses’ reign to the time of Joshua.
Understanding-What does it mean?
The victories of Israel and the kings they conquered were important enough to be listed name by name in Scripture. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), but His past mercies must not be forgotten.
Commentary states, “The vengeance of a righteous God, inflicted on all these kings and their subjects, for their wickedness, should make us dread and hate sin. The fruitful land bestowed on his chosen people, should fill our hearts with hope and confidence in his mercy, and with humble gratitude.”
Romans 15:4-For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 
Life Application
Keep a log or journal and document all the ways the Lord has shown up in our lives. Also, document all the ways He has shown up for His people in His Word. Be specific. Look back on it when the enemy tries to discourage us in our walk with Him.
 The victories we have experienced individually and as a church in the past and the present as His adopted and chosen children, is powerful enough to make the devil flee.  It encourages us back on His intended path for us. I have shared that I keep a list of Scriptures that encourage me to stay the course.  In addition, I also document all the ways God has shown up in my life and I look back on it, especially when the devil tries to discourage me in his crafty ways.
Dear Jesus, thank You for the constant encouragement that we receive from Your Word and our ongoing testimonies of how You continue to show up in times of adversity. Great is Your faithfulness! I pray that we would not forget what You have done specifically in the past or the present and we would meditate on it constantly. We love You and worship You. Thank You for always protecting us from what the enemy seeks to steal away. All glory and victory is Yours alone. Amen.
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
-Michelle Gaddi