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!
 

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



Proverbs_6

Scripture

Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

 

Observation – What does it say?

Solomon encourages his listeners to observe the ants’ hard working and disciplined behavior and to learn wisdom from it.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Last summer I had an ant problem. They had been coming in around the sun window by the sink in our kitchen. At first I tried killing them with bleach cleaner, but new ones would come back after it dried. Katie got on Pinterest and looked up solutions. She tried baking soda and powdered sugar which I guess is like poison. Didn’t work too well. She tried peppermint essential oil. It only worked a short time and the ants would be back as soon as it dried and the smell dissipated. Then I thought, I’ll just figure out where they’re coming in and block it off. They were coming in behind the window sill so I got my caulking gun from the garage and caulked it. No more ants… At least for a few hours. All of a sudden they were everywhere again, all over the wall and countertop. They were coming from the other side of the sill where it meets the drywall. So I caulked there. No more ants… At least for a few more hours. Then I found them coming in a little crack in the window. I caulked about 5 different spots and after each one, within a few hours, they just kept finding another way in. I ended up just leaving the caulking gun on the window sill and had come to expect them to find another way in. We had been playing this game almost a week, when finally, after what I hoped would be the last caulking job I saw them coming in from a different place. I exclaimed, “Those little fools!” And in my anger, started squishing them with my finger. Any I could see. In that moment of irrational rage I heard loud and clear in my mind: 

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

Woah. Those “little fools” are actually wise. Lol What wisdom can I learn from ants, I thought? Well, they are incredibly persistent. They won’t give up. They aren’t easily deterred. They keep at it and have no plan B. Just plan A: get in Levi’s house and drive him crazy. 

How big can an ant brain possibly be? I don’t know that they have the capacity to think hard about what to do. They know what to do and do it. No excuses. They see no roadblocks, only obstacles they will overcome. 

 

Life Application

If I’m going to apply that wisdom to my life, there can be no, “God will work it out” attitude while I sit here passively.” There can be no, “I’m just not feeling very motivated.” “I’m too busy.” “I’m tired.” “God sees all the obstacles the enemy is placing in my way. He’ll understand why I’m not going to try hard anymore.”

What areas have I been a sluggard? Where have I lacked persistence? Discipline? Where have I been making excuses instead of just knowing what’s right and doing it?

God, forgive me for the ways I’ve lacked discipline and persistence. Please help us to be a people that passionately pursues you and your mission, who don’t shrink back and get destroyed by our circumstances, but who believe and overcome. Refuel us where we’ve been drained by hurt and discouragement and fan the flame of passion within us to know you and make you known. Amen.

 
-Levi Thompson


Matthew___28

Scripture

Matthew 28:16-17 NLT

 

“Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!”

 

Observation-What does it say?

As both Marys went to visit Jesus’ tomb, they were greeted by a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled back the huge stone that lay in front of the door of the tomb, and showed both Marys that the place where Jesus’ body laid, was now empty! Just like Jesus told them…He would rise again! Jesus is alive! Now the angel told the women to go and tell the disciples that Jesus is alive, and to tell them to head to Galilee, because it is there that they will see him.

 

So when the disciples arrived in Galilee, they went to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. It was there that they saw him and worshipped him, yet some of them still doubted.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?
 

Transformation does not happen quickly.

 

Even after all Jesus has done for them, all He has told them, all that they have seen with their own eyes, they still doubted?! We would like to think that the Resurrection alone would immediately transform these timid disciples into heroes of faith. But this particular verse is a great reminder that transformation does not happen overnight. Even after Jesus’ disciples saw him alive and heard him speak, they still doubted.

 

Now just when I was going to get down on Jesus’ disciples, I took a look at my own life. I looked back at all that I learned, all that Jesus has done in my life, and all that He has got me through. Yet when one of life’s roadblocks comes my way, what do I do? I find myself anxious, I begin to doubt God’s promises for me. Why?! I believe it’s a growing and maturing process we as Christ Followers all go through. Our lives as Christ Followers is a daily spiritual walk. A walk in which we should all be striving to grow and mature in Christ daily. I believe the “churchy word” for it is sanctification. It is our lifelong process as God’s children to become more like Christ each and every day. And it doesn’t stop either! It is something we all should be doing till the Lord calls us home.

 

Life Application

I must strive to be a better disciple each and every day, month, and year!

 

Too often we come across people who say they have been Christians for years and years. Yet they seem to be struggling with the same issues over and over. They tell you that they’ve been a Christian for 10 years, but it seems they’ve been repeating the same grade year after year with no growth. Or they can quote you scripture and know the Bible inside-out. Yet their lives contradict what they should already know. They have the information, but not the transformation in their lives. As Christ Followers we should be all about the transformation. We should be allowing the Holy Spirit to mold us and change us to be more like Jesus each day.

-Moses Gaddi



Proverbs_4

Happy Thanksgiving church family!

 

Scripture

Proverbs 4:5-7

“Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them. Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

In this chapter Solomon gives some fatherly advice and reminds those who are willing to listen  the importance of gaining wisdom in life. He expresses that wisdom is a life saver. That those who obtain it, will live a righteous life, and glory and honor will be delivered to them. Solomon has seen it all and lived through a lot. Solomon now wants to share the wisdom he was able to obtain through his life experiences, and the wisdom he received from following God.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

No one is born with wisdom; God is the One who provides it.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,” 1 Corinthians 1:25a NIV

The key to getting wisdom is understanding that no one has it to start with. Ultimately it is God who provides us with wisdom. It also means that anyone can acquire wisdom…if you decide to pursue it.  Wisdom also is not something we achieve through one choice we make in life. It is a journey, a series of many steps in life, in which we receive the truth of God’s Word, and apply them into our lives each and every day. Jesus often spoke of people who had ears but did not listen. The wise will be the ones who choose to listen wholeheartedly to God’s Word, both with their hearts and minds.

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”-James 1:22 NLT

 

Life Application

Ultimate wisdom is within the grasp of our hands. So reach out and obtain it through reading God’s Word.

Life is hard enough as it is. So why try to figure it out all on our own?! Why not take advantage of life’s “instruction manual”?..The Holy Bible! Whether it is taking the advice from someone who was granted wisdom from God, like Solomon, or following the One who overcame everything the world tried to throw His way, Jesus. The Bible is the key to have access to living a wiser life…a life that will grant you wisdom. Will you choose to follow it?

Thank You God for Your Word and the wisdom it brings. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that speaks to me through it. Thank You Lord for always having my best interest in mind. May the wisdom You grant me allow me to make the right choices today, and may I share that wisdom to those around me. In Your name Jesus, Amen 

-Moses Gaddi



Matthew___26

Scripture

Matthew‬ ‭26:13‬

“I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

  

Observation-What does it say?
 
Jesus is in Bethany. He is having dinner at a man named Simon’s house. Then a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume and poured it over Jesus’ head. The disciples were baffled with this action. Why would she waste such an expensive item for that?! The disciples thought she could have at least sold the item for lots of money, then gave the money to the poor. But Jesus told his disciples not to criticize her. This woman had done a beautiful thing for him. Jesus tells his disciples that wherever the gospel is preached in the world, that this woman’s story will be told as well.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Put value in the right things.
 
This woman gave up something very valuable and gave it to Jesus. Scholars believe the worth of the alabaster jar of perfume she anointed Jesus with was worth about a year’s wages! And this woman didn’t even think twice about using it! It takes true devotion and selflessness to do something like that. But that just shows you how much Jesus means to her. She probably spent her life savings on it and was planning on using it on the day she was to be buried. But instead she gives it freely to Jesus. Wow! I think it would be difficult for anyone to do something like that today. In the world we live in now, the value or cost of something can often times overshadow or distort the moral or meaning of something. The question is, what am I putting my values in?
 
Life Application
 
How much does Jesus mean to me?
 
So…how much does Jesus mean to me? Am I willing to honor Jesus with everything I have? Am I willing to look foolish to others around me because of the love I want to show Jesus? Will my story be told for generations to come because of my devotion to Jesus? 🤔 Something to ponder on as we go out in the world today.  
 
-Moses Gaddi


Matthew__25

Scripture

Matthew 25:37-40 NIV

““Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

 

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus tells 3 parables to illustrate what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. The verses above come from the parable that Jesus explained regarding sheep and goat. He put the sheep (righteous) on his right and the goats on his left. The righteous were rewarded because they loved and did something about the needy, hungry, sick and the imprisoned, which Jesus said was the same as doing it to Him. However, those on his left were not rewarded, but instead punished for neglecting to love in action those who were in need.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

There is always action associated with loving people, just like there is always action associated with loving God.

It reminds me of what James said in James 2:15-17-“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Also, the people that Jesus points out in this parable are not those who are well off or have their lives together. They are people that society tends to shun. People who are hungry, thirsty, needing shelter, needing clothing; those who are sick and in prison. Those are the people that Jesus points out for us not to neglect.

 

Life Application

How can I show love to someone today? 

Let’s do one practical thing to show love to someone today, whether it is buying a homeless person a meal, being a pen pal and encouragement for someone institutionalized/imprisoned, feeding a hungry child, blessing a family with a gift card or meal who is going through grief, following up on someone’s health issue, blessing someone with a fridge full of groceries, taking a friend out to a meal who is struggling, etc. 

There’s a lot we can do to practically show love to people, specifically the broken, hurting and needy, which in turn is how we show love to our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Dear Jesus, you didn’t hang out with the prestigious and righteous people of your day. You hung out with the broken, the hurting, the sick and the unrighteous sinners. Most importantly, you loved us so much to leave Your throne in Heaven to save us, and You did it in the most humble way. Thank you! May Your heart for people be ours. May we be intentional about loving people, “the least of these”, through action and as Pastor says, be more outward focused instead of inward focused. Amen.
 

-Michelle Gaddi