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!

Psalm 145

Scripture:  Psalm 145:17-21  The Lord is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.  The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.


Observation:  This Psalm, written by David, is titled as a song of praise.  Throughout this song, David uses the personal ‘I’ to declare his love for God, praising Him for His attributes and character: loving, forgiving, good and faithful, just and kind.  Of note in this song, is that it shows David taking action to place himself in a position of worship and humility. God’s goodness and patience is shown to those who place themselves in a posture of praise.  This is placed in contrast to those who choose wickedness, who will suffer death and separation from God.  


Understanding:  I recently read an essay regarding our actions of justice and mercy.  Generally, justice is understood as a punishment for wrongdoing. Whereas, mercy is understood as a remittance of that punishment.  The author of the essay, Matthew Myer Boulton, used the story of the Good Samaritan as a way to give an alternate definition of mercy.  


In the story, we are presented with the question of who our neighbors are.  We see the “insiders” of Jewish society acting in a way that is disobedient to God’s word, while seeing the “outsider,” who isn’t expected to hold up any part of Jewish law, acting in a way as to show love towards someone who, generally, would have treated him with contempt.  Boulton uses this act of love to display what mercy could be. “Rather than conceive “mercy” as the lenient remission of deserved punishment, this account invites us to conceive it as the practice of transgressive care, the humane and humanizing work of repair and reconciliation in human life.”


The Samaritan put himself in a position that honored God, even though he was not bound to any of God’s laws.  He acted in humility, and in doing so was offering praise to God. Much like David placed himself in a position of worship, realizing that he needed God and that in submitting to God he would find grace and mercy.  But, if David were to act wickedly, he would find himself receiving wrath from God instead. Many times throughout scripture, we are shown the things of God to be contrary to what we see in the world. Like when Jesus tells us “the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16).  A practical way to carry this out is by serving others before ourselves (Philippians 2:4-11). This helps to put us in the position of worship, where we will receive God’s goodness.  


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to look for ways I can serve others and place the needs of others before mine.  Especially in a time when people are in fear, help me to be gracious to others, help me to not get upset when all the toilet paper is gone, and trust that you will protect me when I am less than six feet away from others.  Help me to offer your peace to others when it would be easy to offer them impatience instead. Help me to be looking for my neighbor, so I can put myself in the position of worship.

-Tyler Galloway

1 Corinthians _13



1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)


13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.


4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.



I read this passage and I am overwhelmed with understanding. I can imagine Paul trying to explain how our works, or gifts, or talents, may be amazing!… But if they are not wrapped up in love then its as if they have been for nothing, they become invisible. 


Then… I imagine him being completely inspired by the Holy Spirit as he begins to pen what LOVE does. 




Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.


1 Cor. 4:4-7 The Message 



When the works, gifts, and talents that God gave to us are wrapped in love they become “activated” to complete the mission they were meant for. 

Holy Spirit fall on us! Inspire and empower us to to DO what LOVE DOES! Empower us to show YOUR love to ourselves and others. You are love! And that is the representation we need to be making to the world. In Jesus Name, Amen! 
Deborah Lee

1 Corinthians__12


1 Corinthians 12: 17-18 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear where the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.


As Paul continues writing to the church of Corinth about unity, he begins to make the analogy of the body Christ being like a physical, human body. He uses this analogy to further the idea that God’s people should be united as they make up one body, but every part is useful. He also contends that God has placed each person (or body part) exactly where they need to be, according to their calling.


The tribe has not spoken, only God can do that.

*WARNING: I am about to expose myself for being a complete nerd, but I promise it’s how I made sense of this passage*

Ever since I was like 10 years old I have watched Survivor with my mom, so you can blame her for my obsession of the show. Aside from telling my mom that I’m going to play for a million dollars on the show one day, we always pause the show and breakdown the gameplay and strategy of all the players. If you’ve never seen the show, just know that you are better than me, and that the inherent ingredient to success in the game is lying and backstabbing your alliances. At the start of the game (before it becomes individual) they are always separated into two or three different tribes. The tribes must work together to build a shelter, provide food, make a fire, win immunity, and just survive. At tribal council, where someone gets voted out, you find out the most information that you can’t find out back at camp. Most of the time, the players look to eliminate threats early on in the game, which has always seemed counter-intuitive because you need them to win challenges. However, each player is always playing for themselves, and I always pause the show, look at my mom and say: “At what point do these people think my morals and who I am is not worth a million dollars?” She always replies with: “This is why you would never win…”

I say all that to say this: going to church is not a game of Survivor. As a matter of fact, Paul is saying quite the opposite. He’s mad at the believers in Corinth for thinking it is a game. In just looking at my Survivor analogy let me breakdown this passage in one simple statement: WE NEED EACH OTHER BECAUSE GOD HAS PLACED US WITH EACH OTHER FOR A REASON. We aren’t competing for a million dollars, the title of sole survivor and all that meaningless junk. Our fight isn’t of flesh and blood, so we shouldn’t be finding ways to fight against our own flesh and blood (our family in Christ). Each person within our church or our sphere of influence right now, has a specific role designed to accomplish the mission of God. Each mission is distinct and important, and to say that we don’t need each other or that it is only our own walk is simply ignorant. I get that working with people is tough (at least that what the show makes it seem like), but at the end of the day we can’t just vote people off our island because they irritate us. God is a master at this game of life, so if something or someone is placed within yours it isn’t an accident, there is something to be learned from or by them.

Life Application

Paul prefaces these chapters by saying that only God has the power to judge those on earth, so we need to stop trying to do God’s job. If you feel that you are going through a time where it doesn’t feel like it is divinely designed then ask God to reveal the lessons He wants you to learn. When HE reveals them don’t hesitate to actually learn from them and those people. Rei said it best on Monday, the only way we can truly show God to those around us is by loving one another. So show those around you the love of Christ, and thank them for being specifically placed in your life (don’t look to vote them out because they may be a threat). Who knows, maybe when you show gratitude toward those God has placed in your life, your attitude may change toward them as well.

-Allison Khan

1 Corinthians 11

1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:1, 11-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ….Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”
Observation-What does it say?
I love the Apostle Paul because he is such a straight shooter and unapologetic when it comes to His relationship with Christ. He continues to call out things in the Corinthian church that are causing confusion, disorder, and disunity among the believers. Chaos is the evil one’s business, so he is trying to dispel that from the church and bring Christ back on the throne. In this chapter, Paul is specifically addressing head covering in worship and the abuse of the Lord’s supper. I will be covering the head covering section.
Understanding-What does it mean?
Paul’s heart in talking about head coverings is to create unity, order, respect, authority and submission in the church.
Should men be allowed to have long hair? Should women be allowed to have short hair? Should women teach over a man? Should women have head coverings? Should women be yes robots to a man and submit in silence? Is Paul just irrelevant and outdated with what he’s talking about?
All of Scripture is God breathed and still relevant for today (2 Timothy 3:16). In addressing head coverings, Paul is speaking to a bigger heart issue of order, submission, authority and respect in the church.
In our “feminist” society where women empowerment has become a huge thing and men are being blamed for everything, I think what Paul is talking about in context is very relevant for today!
Life Application
Men and women need each other in the church and at home.
No gender is better than another. We need each other’s differences and similarities and we are not independent of each other. Women came from man, but man was also born from women, as Scripture points out in verses 11-12.
If God didn’t create a type of order for members in the church to follow and even husbands and wives to follow, major disunity would occur.
Personal confession: I’m a first born female raised by another strong first born female that was surrounded by only brothers. If anyone would be part of the feminist movement, it would be me. I still don’t submit in silence and push back at times. I am still working on some areas of trust/submission as God, my Husband and Pastor can attest to. However, because of the order that God has created and my growing trust in the authorities He’s placed over me, my life has become much more peaceful, in order and protected!
Who is or are the authorities that God has placed over your life that God wants you to trust/submit to? Your parents? Your husband? Your Pastor? Your boss at work? Your ministry leader? Male or female, as long as we are not being told to sin or compromise our integrity, we must submit out of reverence to Christ (Eph. 5:21).
Dear Lord, please help us to submit to one another out of love and trust for you and love for each other. Amen.
-Michelle Gaddi
Reference: (Head to Head about 1 Corinthians 11:3-16)

1 Corinthians_10


1 Corinthians 10:23-24,31-33

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.….31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.


Lots of talk about eating and drinking.  [Which is less than awesome as I write this fighting my midnight snack cravings…and there are Girl Scout cookies in the house.]  Paul spends this chapter walking through scenarios of when it is okay to eat/not eat, accept not accept meat. 


The ultimate answer to this deliberation, though, has little do with meat at all; it comes down to love.  Living a life of love towards others – one that puts the good of others over the over our freedom of choice. 

It’s a reminder that our lives here on Earth are temporary and created with purpose – the purpose of knowing God and making Him known.  So, the answer to nearly any question about what to do or not do can be answered with “Show love.”  If we orient our thinking, our decisions to how we can best love others – in that true agape kind of love, looking out for their best interest – it makes our decisions easier, our relationships stronger and more genuine.

Life Application:

Go love on somebody! <3

We can love people in our actions, our words, our thoughts, our prayers, through gifts, through kindness…each of these comes down to a decisions we make – to take others into account, to put others first, to have a servant’s heart, to seek the good of many, not just our own.  So…what will you choose today?

We can do all things to the glory of God only when we remember the duty we must discharge to our fellow men; and we will do that only when we remember that our Christian freedom is given to us not for our own sake but for the sake of others. []

1 Corinthians 9

Scripture  1 Corinthians 9:26-27   Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;  but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.


Observation-What does it say?  In chapter eight and nine, Paul discusses our use of liberty as Christians.  Throughout the new testament, we find that we have freedom from the law, but we are not to use the freedom as an opportunity or an excuse to continue in sin (Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 2:16).  In chapter nine, Paul expounds on this idea, making sure we know that our behavior should be geared at building up the body of Christ. In the end, he uses the example of competing to show the extent of our calling to discipline, as one who competes lets go of everything that would hinder him from gaining a prize.


Understanding-What does it mean?  In our world of sports today, we see people going to extreme lengths to be known as the greatest.  Baseball players have filled their bats with cork, pumped themselves full of steroids, and even banged on trash cans to gain a slight advantage.  There are stories of runners hoping in cabs to get to the finish of marathons faster. Then there are characters like Lance, who involved a whole team of doctors, trainers, and teammates to hide a system of illegal injections.  In the end, a lot of these people have been stripped of their titles and left us to wonder if there is any integrity anymore.  


But then, every once in a while, there are other characters that come out of the sports world who repair our hope.  The Tillman’s and the DiMaggio’s, who gave up the fanfare to serve their country. There are also countless others who, through coaching and volunteering, have taught us to place others in front of ourselves.


As we draw near to Christ, Paul is encouraging us to have integrity in our walk.  We are called to let go of all distractions as we run to Him. But, not just consider this as a means for our benefit, we must acknowledge that the way we live affects the outcome of other’s.  Let us not turn others away from the gospel by living in a way that diminishes God’s grace (Philippians 2:3-4).


Life Application  Jesus, I’m sorry for where I have allowed my liberty to cause people to stumble.  Help me to trust in your calling on my life. Give me strength where I am weak, and grace when I need it.  Let me always tell the gospel story with my actions, and help me to line up my words with that.    

-Tyler Galloway

1 Corinthians 8


1 Corinthians 8:9,12,13

9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak…12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.


The Apostle Paul continuing his letter to the church at Corinth walks this particular church through a difficult topic that was causing division and strife within the fellowship of believers. The church was trying to figure out its position on the consumption of foods that had been dedicated to idols(false gods). 


I had to read and re-read this particular chapter. This is how I understand it. 


It is about God’s love.

It is not about being right.


He points out that the “more mature” Christians of the church are not wrong. They followed the true God- in their hearts food dedicated to idols had no power over them! However, the early church had members who had not built themselves up to this level of thought. To them watching their big brother or big sister Christians eat this type of food confused them. In their confusion they were also hurt. Again not because of any right way of thinking but because that was their level of growth in Christ.

In verse 12, the apostle Paul makes it very clear, when you sin against a brother or sister in Christ in this way, and wound their weak conscience you sin against Christ!

Is that not a sobering conclusion? 

Life Application 

Living in community isn’t always easy. In fact I would be so bold as to say it is hard.

In verse 1 of the same chapter Paul teaches us that “knowledge puffs up while love builds up.” And so here is my prayer:

Lord as my relationship and knowledge of you deepens,

May my exercise of that knowledge always be

Couched in Love, Love, Love.

May I be willing to sacrifice my rights

For the sake of those whom I love,

For the sake of Your kingdom,

For the sake of Your Love, Love, Love.


Love You Jesus,

Kenneth Lee


Psalm 138



Psalms‬ ‭138:7-8‬ ‭


“Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”

Observation-What does it say?
This is another psalm of King David. A psalm where he gives thanks and praise to God for His goodness and faithfulness. No matter how dire David’s situation was, he chose to give thanks and praise to God. David knew all too well from experience of God’s faithfulness, so he chose to give God all his praise and glory through all the good times and even the troubling times in his life. At the end of the day, God is in control, and God is good!
Understanding-What does it mean?
Trust God no matter what!
David was considered to be a man after God’s own heart. He was a man of faith. His life showed it. From the faith he had when he was just a shepherd boy, to be able to defeat the MIGHTY Goliath! To his stressful times of being chased by Saul, hiding in caves, fearing for his life. Then even when David messed up in life and slept with a married woman Bathsheba, got her pregnant, plotted and killed her husband, tried to hide his sin, and then faced God’s punishment for it-(the child that Bathsheba had from David’s adultery died)…David trusted God and accepted whatever came his way. Even as King, David knew who was truly King. He knew without God, none of the things he had experienced in life would be possible. God was and will always be…in control.
Life Application
Seek God’s purpose through life’s struggles.
God did not remove all of David’s troubles in life even though David may have cried out for God to do so. We aren’t supposed to treat God like that genie in a lamp who grants all of our wishes. We have to understand that sometimes God will take us out of trouble, but more often than not, God will keep us in it, but He is always there with us, walking us through it. God’s main purpose for us isn’t our own personal comfort. God’s main purpose for us is for us to be more like Christ. So whatever situation we may be in, understand this, God is trying to grow you in your faith. He is molding you into the person He is calling you to be. It is part of our life’s process (sanctification) till Jesus calls us home. 😊
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”-Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬
So whenever life’s troubles are weighing you down, look up! Seek God! Seek God’s purpose for you through it. And I’m confident, like David, that God too will give you the strength, boldness, and courage to face it all. And you will be all the better and stronger because of it! 👍🏽
-Moses Gaddi

1 Corinthians__6

1 Corinthians 6:18-20
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Observation-What does it say?
Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church who have given themselves over to idols and to the flesh and approving of those who do these things as well. Sin was rampant in the church and they were doing the very things that Christ came to die and save them from. Paul was exhorting the church specifically on the practices of sexual immorality in this chapter/section of his letter.
Understanding-What does it mean?
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.
I never truly understood what this meant until I taught in kids church about King Solomon building the temple for the Lord in the book of 1 Kings in the Old Testament. The physical temple was made from the best materials and where the presence of God was to be found. It was also where the ark of the covenant was moved. Anyhow, after Jesus came, we no longer needed a physical building or temple to house God’s presence. God’s presence, through the Holy Spirit, is able to live inside each one of us after submitting our lives to Christ! We are the Temple! This is why we are to keep it pure.
Life Application
We are the temple for the Holy Spirit to reside in. What are we putting inside of our temples?
Many people who eat healthy and exercise regularly use our bodies as being the temple of the Lord as the reason for the importance of doing those disciplines. While I’m not disagreeing with that, in context of Scripture, Paul is talking about sexual immorality. 
Just like King Solomon built the temple with only the best materials and it was so beautiful, we must take care of our bodies by keeping it pure. We must guard our hearts and minds and FLEE from sexual immorality. We are to honor the Lord with our bodies and use them for His purposes alone. We are not our own and Jesus bought us with a price, as verses 19-20 says.
If you are struggling with lust, fleshly desires or sexual immorality, please confess it to Jesus right away and ask for His help to conquer it. Tell another trusted Spirit filled believer about it to keep you accountable and also pray for/with you. I also want to take away the stigma that it’s only a struggle that men face in the church, because I personally know and knew of several women who also struggle(d) with it. Any shame or even justification associated with sexual immorality is the devil’s attempt for it to be kept hidden in the dark. Complete healing comes when we bring sin to light, so please invite Jesus into that darkness and impurity. Let us all have clean and pure temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in! He deserves the best because He gave us His best, plus more!
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.””
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:9-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!….But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:15, 17-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Blessed are the PURE in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8
-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm 136:4-6

4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.


Psalm 136 is a special Psalm, with each one of its 26 verses repeated the phrase, His mercy endures forever. Psalm 118 repeated that phrase five times, and through the Hebrew Scriptures the phrase has somewhat of a liturgical sense to it, as if the assembled people of Israel said or sung it in response to the direction of the Levites leading singing and worship. Ezra 3:11 indicates that this phrase was part of a responsive singing among God’s people: And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”


The phrase is used several other times in the Old Testament, each time in the context of some kind of public praise or declaration. The phrase, His mercy endures forever was used:



Two things stand out to me: 1) a reminder of who God is – the one who alone does great wonders, made heaves and created this spinning Earth we’re standing on; and 2) His unchanging nature. Whether the version you read said “His love endures forever” or “His mercy endures forever,” one thing remains…His nature does not change.

Life Application:

Just as they did in David’s time, let’s declare God’s enduring, unchanging love and mercy. We don’t have to necessarily sing it in response…but let’s live as if we believe it and be purposeful about sharing that love/mercy with others. Therefore, go… <3


It’s a new month, may we be on mission today.
– Rei