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_70

Scripture:

Psalm 70:4 (TLB)

But fill the followers of God with joy. Let those who love your salvation exclaim, “What a wonderful God he is!” 

Observation:

Almost like a reprise from Psalm 40, “entitled, “a psalm to bring to remembrance;’’ for it may be of use sometimes to pray over the prayers we have formerly made to God upon similar occasions, which may be done with new affections.”  David prays that God would send help to himself (v1, v5), shame to his enemies (v2, v3) and joy to his friends (v4). 

https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/70.html

Understanding:

I just love David’s prayer for his friends, those he loves, for other followers…

But fill the followers of God with joy. Let those who love your salvation exclaim, “What a wonderful God he is!” (TLB)

Let those on the hunt for you
    sing and celebrate.
Let all who love your saving way
    say over and over, “God is mighty!” (The Message)

Let all who look for You be full of joy and be glad in You. And let those who love Your saving power always say, “Let God be honored.”(NLV)

But may all who search for you
    be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
    repeatedly shout, “God is great!” (NLT)

Regardless of the version, it was clear that David – even when he considered himself poor and needy – took time to pray blessings over fellow believers…a prayer of joy, gladness and praise. And, his experiences were pretty real and raw – with people trying to kill and humiliate him.  Even then, he lifted up his friends, those he loved, those who were seeking God. 

Life Application:

May David’s prayer be an example to us. No matter how big our own “stuff” may be, may we take time to bless others in our prayers and in our actions. 

PS God has an amazing way of putting things in perspective when we rest our eyes on Him.  So a side benefit that usually comes when we spend time with him and take time to pray and cover others, our own “stuff” becomes smaller, lighter, more manageable.

Rei



John_7

Scripture  John 7:37-38  Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 

 

Observation-What does it say?  Jesus enters Jerusalem during the Feast of Shelters, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, is celebrated after the Feast of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  The Feast of Shelters, the most joyous and the longest of the festivals, was also considered to be the greatest of the feasts.  The Feast of Shelters memorialized God’s holy Dwelling place, the desert Tabernacle, which was later replaced by the Temple built by Solomon.  Jesus entered the city secretly, to avoid causing a disruption.  As he speaks in the city, the crowd becomes divided between belief and unbelief.  As his last statement before leaving the city, Jesus foretells the coming of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will come and fill us to overflowing, like a river in our soul.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  I love traveling to where there is water.  There is just something about water that seems to bring life to the area around it.  But something that I never really considered about water, it has to have an outflow to continue bringing life.  I learned the reality of this a couple of years ago, while driving to Idaho on vacation.  During our drive, we passed Walker Lake, in Nevada.  The lake has no natural outflow and is dying.  As agriculture has reduced the flow of water going into the lake, and sediment continues to flow in, the level of salt in the water is increasing.  This kills off the fish and increases the rate of evaporation.  

 

When we ask God to, He will pour out His love on us.  But, just like a river, we are supposed to have an outflow.  Jesus told us all the law and commandments are fulfilled in loving God and loving our neighbors (Matthew 22:36-40).  Furthermore, Jesus states later in the book of John that His disciples will be known by their love (John 13:35), and those who know Him and love Him will follow his commands (John 14:21).  Therefore, loving others is a natural outflow of God’s love and spirit in our lives.  It’s this outflow of love that shows the true life found in a life submitted to Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is our guide to living a life filled with love and submitted to Jesus.


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to rely more fully on you everyday.  As I trust in you, show me ways to love those around me in a way that is both practical and sensitive to the spiritual needs of others.  Help me to seek the needs of others before my own wants and needs.    

 
-Tyler Galloway


John__6

Scripture – What stood out?

John 6:26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Observation – What does it say?

Jesus had just fed a group of 5 thousand (only the men were counted so the total number of people including women and children would be greater than 5k) the day before using 5 small loaves of bread and 2 fish . That night the disciples got on a boat (Jesus would join them on the boat later on walking on water) and crossed the lake into Capernaum. Some of the people who had experienced that miracle meal realizing Jesus had left would cross over in search of him.

Understanding – What does it mean?

I feel like I got a gut check after I read this verse. Literally, bc I am gaining weight like you would not believe right now. It is the middle of a pandemic and I’m getting fat. I am not exaggerating…And then Jesus hits me with this – do not work for food that spoils but for food that endures to eternal life! I can almost hear Jesus telling me to lose weight, and his voice sounds like my mother’s!

Eating my fill and satisfying my tummy in a nutshell is how I live here on earth. I am looking for some sort of satisfaction. And that is the constant struggle between the spiritual food that will endure and this earthly food which provides temporary satisfaction.

I have contemplated for months now what to do with my post-pandemic life. And while I don’t have all the answers I feel like one message is clear – focus on the food that endures and does not spoil.

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

Lord readjust my focus. May I stop being hungry and craving things that have no eternal consequences. Help me to reprioritize in my head and in my heart. May I focus on the food that brings me closer to eternal life with you. May I focus on living bread. May I focus on You.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneth lee

 



Psalm_67

Scripture
 
Psalms‬ ‭67:2-3
 
“May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere. May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
This is a psalm of worship. This psalm of thanksgiving expresses the people’s gratefulness to God and their confidence in God’s continued blessings. The psalmist desires to see the whole world come to fear and know of God’s amazing saving power so all may come to praise Him.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
The gospel of…(insert your name here).
 
We all know the 4 major gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But did you know that we, our life stories of what Jesus has done for us, are gospels as well? Did you know that the closest thing that some people may come to hearing the gospel is through our life’s testimonies and the example of the life we are living? It’s really quite mind blowing when you think about it. But we are an extension of the Bible, God’s story, to be told for generations to come.
 
In verses 2 & 3 the psalmist expresses their desire for the nations to know of God’s ways and saving power. The psalmist desires for all to praise Him and experience His blessings the way he has. How can we as His people continue to make that happen?
 
“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:18-20‬
 
Life Application
 
Even during times like these, we can still be on mission.
 
We may not currently be meeting at church, but the church was never about the building. The church is about the people…God’s people. And although we are unable to physically see each other, God provides the technology for other ways to still see each other, encourage one another, and pray for one another. Whether it’s through Zoom Meeting Rooms, On-Line Church Services, texts, or emails, there is no excuse for us to give that we cannot continue God’s mission. I mean look at the Apostle Paul for example. Even while being imprisoned, (for sharing the gospel), Paul still found a way to accomplish God’s mission. And even though we are on government “Stay Home” orders, we too can still find a way to accomplish God’s mission for us. So let’s be purposeful, use this opportunity to be on mission. Let those we come into contact with know of God’s ways and His amazing saving power. Let all praise His name and experience His amazing love and blessings. 😊
 
-Moses Gaddi


John__4

Scripture

 

John 4:42

 

“They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

 

The woman at the well, a Samaritan woman, shared her encounter with Jesus with her people. First of all, Jesus came to her even though Jews and Samaritans do not associate with one another. Second, He knew the intimate details of her life….details that would be impossible for any stranger to know. Third, He knew she was thirsty for something more than what this world had to offer her, as He said that He can give her water that would cause her to never thirst again. The woman was amazed and Jesus eventually revealed to her that He was the Messiah that she was expecting (vs.25). The Samaritan woman could not keep this information to herself, so she told the other Samaritans in her town about Jesus. As a result of her testimony, many Samaritans believed in Him and chose to seek Him out for themselves. 

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

 

Our faith in Jesus Christ is not meant to be hidden. 

 

Keeping our faith to ourselves only benefits us, but we must share it with those around us too. As the Samaritan woman shared her encounter with Jesus (her testimony), it caused the other Samaritans to believe in Jesus and seek Him out for themselves. They had faith that became their own and it was no longer her faith alone (vs. 42)

 

Life Application

 

Freely share Jesus’ testimony and our testimony of faith.

 

Jesus’ testimony is His death and resurrection. His testimony has enabled us to be saved from hell and not have to live a life apart from a Holy God. (John 3:16). 

 

Our testimony is our personal experiences/encounters with Jesus. Some of us have an initial testimony that led to us accepting His invitation for our salvation. But, we are given testimonies all the time as we are with Jesus everyday.  It is meant to be shared with those who don’t know His goodness so that they can taste and see for themselves that He is good. 

 

Psalm 34:8- “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”

 

The water He gives is truly living water and is the only thing that can satisfy our thirst for eternity.

I am grateful for my parents who laid this foundation for me. Although it was their faith that I followed in the first half of my life, because of their example and testimony and the way they raised me, it became my faith as well in the later part of my life.

 

Dear Lord, thank You for the people You placed in my life to plant the seeds of faith in my life. Now that I have been adopted into Your family, I pray that my testimonies with You would not be hidden, but rather shared with joy in order to draw others to Yourself, so they can taste and see that You are good too. Thank You Jesus that it doesn’t matter what we’ve done or who we once were, but that we are now seen through the eyes of Christ.  Thank you that I will never thirst or hunger again. May more people be drawn to that truth as I am obedient to share it with them. Amen.

 

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm_65

Scripture:

Psalm 65:5-8

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
    God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power,
    having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    and the turmoil of the nations.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.

 

Observation:

Words borrowed from https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-65/, italics mine.

By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation: This was an ongoing confidence in the continuation of God’s goodness. God had answered prayer and provided atonement; David expected such awesome deeds in the future also.

You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth: David again lifted his vision from beyond Israel to the ends of the earth, to the far-off seas. He understood that though Israel belonged to God in a special sense, He was and is the God of the whole earth.

You who still the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples: God’s might is shown in His ability to quiet not only the oceans but also the noise of the peoples of the world. His authority extended far beyond Israel, to the farthest parts of the earth.

  1. Stormy and noisy seas put forth enormous energy. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an average hurricane releases energy equivalent to 6×1014watts of electricity. This is 200 times world-wide electrical generating capacity. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says that in its lifetime an average hurricane can release as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs. Yet God can and does still the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves.
  2. Knowing this great power of God should build our faith when we see the tumult of the peoplesand are concerned for God’s salvation to reach the ends of the earth. We can think of those at the ends of the earth as those who are farthest off, least known, least thought of, most afflicted, and the hardest to reach.
  3. “The child of God in seasons of trouble should fly at once to him who stills the seas: nothing is too hard for him.” (Spurgeon)

You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice: The exercise of God’s authority over the earth does not bring it fear and oppression; it brings rejoicing to the day.

 

Understanding:

This is another chapter where I just love the visual of the God we serve, the power He holds, the stretch of this authority to the very ends of the earth. 

 

Life Application:

Like David, let’s live in expectancy – expecting awesome deeds.  God is powerful and still wants to unleash that power…just wants willing hearts.  May we be willing and expectant today.

May we take time to recognize and remember God’s hand at work.  May that build our faith today.

May we take time to be still, seek the God that can still the noise – whatever that “noise” looks like in our lives today.

May we take time to be in awe at the power and magnitude of the God we serve.

And, finally, may we take time to rejoice!

…and may our willing, expectant, full-of-faith, peace-full, in awe, rejoicing hearts create interactions that leave people feeling calm, seen, heard and loved…in a way that leads hearts to Jesus. <3

Rei



Psalm 65

Scripture  Psalm 65:1&9  “Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled…You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.  The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.”

 

Observation-What does it say?  This psalm is ascribed to David.  There is no specific event this is tied to, but it could have been written at the end of a drought or maybe even a famine.  The psalm was most likely written when the tabernacle was on Mount Zion, before the temple was built in Jerusalem.  “The word translated ‘waiteth’ [awaiting] comes from a root meaning to be silent…. This does not mean that there is no praise, but on the contrary that praise is so complete that at first it can find no utterance.” (Morgan)  This silence gives the impression of being speechless because of the Lord’s greatness.  Later in the chapter, David praises God for the abundance of provision he lavishes on the earth.  The earth is barren until the rain that God helps to bring about growth.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  I recently went to Zion National Park.  As we were driving to the park, the only thing I could say was, “This is AWESOME!!!”  I mean once we got to the park, I also said, “It’s so hot,” quite a bit.  But that’s what happens when you visit the desert in July.  On the shuttle, I got a chance to just sit and enjoy the amazing scenery.  It’s hard to describe how the great walls or red rock inspire a sense of connection to our creator.  The contrast between the lush valley, which holds the life bringing water, and the desert up above.  The whole time we were there, the words just seemed to escape me to offer as a praise for the grandeur around me.  I was speechless.

 

This brought new meaning to being silent in praise.  God’s word says, “Be still, and know that I am God”(Psalm 46:10).  God’s goodness and creation often inspires awe and speechlessness.  But, we are told this is praise enough.  Similarly, God tells us to look to him to learn how to pray.  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).  Changing our perspective can point us towards the Spirit, giving us direction in prayer.  Even Jesus took time to go into the wilderness to pray (Luke 5:16).  

 

Life Application  God, help me to not fear when you are silent.  Thank you for providing me with places to see you.  Thank you for teaching me about you in the silence.  Help me to lean on the Holy Spirit when I don’t know what to pray.

 

-Tyler Galloway





John__1

Scripture – What stood out?

John 1:16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

 

Observation – What does it say?

The first chapter of John lays out the beginning of Jesus’s ministry as he gathers disciples to himself. The first chapter is also John the baptist’s  testimony about who he believes Jesus to be – the son of God.

 

God’s grace = God’s unmerited favor. Aka favor we did not earn.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

For those of us who believe, John chapter 1 is such a breath of fresh air isn’t it? For me as I reflect on Jesus and ask God to reveal Himself to me more, this chapter is like one of my favorite “first moments of Jesus”. I like to visualize what this chapter might have looked like as Jesus was first recognized by John the baptist (as an adult), as Jesus prepares his ministry. It is just a moment that makes me smile inwardly no matter what!

 

I love how the author of this book (many theologians believe that the author of this book is John the disciple of Jesus) puts Jesus into perspective with the old testament. I want to say this out loud again so I’ll type it here: Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. What a beautiful and succinct descriptor of just how the old and new testament is connected.

 

I have grown to love the old testament bible because within those books is where I found the Father’s heart revealed and crying out to His children to come back to him. No matter how many times we messed up in the old testament, God gave us another chance to turn back to Him. And that never stopped all the way up to the birth of his son Jesus and beyond.

 

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

 

Jesus is God the Father’s grace – in place of grace already given.

 

This is such a beautiful reminder Lord. Continue to show me just exactly how your old and new testament are connected. Help me to spend the rest of my day growing in greater understanding of You. Help me to reflect on what is truly Amazing Grace.

 



James___5

Scripture

James 5: 7-8

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
 

Observation

James is wrapping up his letters about the beliefs and expectations of believers by speaking about submission to God and patience in suffering. He uses an analogy of a farmer to further his main point to remain in Christ and in the faith no matter what the circumstance or situation may be. He then closes his final letter by challenging believers to live a life full of faith in order to bring others to Christ as well.
 

Understanding

Patience throughout a trial is more than a virtue, it’s a conscious lifestyle.

As a kid I had a third grade teacher who always taught us these deep truths of life that in the moment seemed really confusing, but as we got older they all began to make a lot of sense. But one that she always seemed to use with me was one that I will never forget. She would look at me over the top of her glasses and then say “Miss Khan, patience is a virtue.” It always ended up with her handing back my spelling sentences because I had rushed through them and used all the words incorrectly. And I would always say, “But at least I got it done.” Still, to my chagrin, she would hand back the sentences with the word “redo” written in red pen on the top. As I got older and worked with more people I finally began to understand the weight of “Miss Khan, patience is a virtue.”

I think this is exactly where our church finds ourselves right now. We’ve been told things like

“The harvest is plentiful!”

“This year is the year of harvest!” Or

“The best is yet to come!”

And we’ve gotten to reap our little harvests here and there, but it does not satisfy the contentment of having a full barn. But here, James says that the farmer waits to yield valuable crop. We are so set on getting to work that we just get to swinging the sickle and we turned in damaged goods. Sometimes patience produces the best yield ever. This season that we find ourselves in is a season of patience, but let’s turn our patience into a lifestyle to yield the best crop all the time.
 

Life Application

How do we yield the best crop all the time?

  • We must be active in planting the seed (who has God placed around you in this time that you can be intentional with?).
  • We must be active in toiling with the soil (invest with these people in a way that you truly develop a deep and personal relationship).
  • At DSC we like to say it’s like having a piece of PII (Pray, Invest, Invite).
  • But despite all of this, we must also remember not to forget our root (cultivate our own relationship daily with the Father).

Let’s get to turning our virtue into a lifestyle.

-Allison Khan


James____4

Scripture

James 4:5
 

5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that He jealously longs for the spirit He has caused to dwell in us?

 

Observation-What does it say?

James, the brother of Jesus, continues to write to Jewish Christians to “encourage them to continue growing in their new Christian faith (got questions.org).” In this chapter, James is encouraging them to submit to God and flee from the desires of the world, “for the spirit that the Lord has caused to dwell in them is jealous for their affection (vs. 5).” The way the footnotes paraphrased it is “that the Spirit He caused to dwell in us longs jealously.”

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

God is a jealous God.

The Lord will not settle for 2nd place in our lives. His Spirit wants to be the first and the only One in our hearts. He desires all of our affection, all of our time, all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. 

You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about His relationship with you. Exodus 34:14 NLT

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. Deut. 4:24 ESV

 

Life Application

Submit to Christ’s love for us.

When we submit to Christ’s love for us as our bridegroom, everything else pales in comparison. The Church is the bride of Christ. In marriage, sometimes we think that jealousy is a bad thing, but honestly, if a spouse is not jealous for his bride and if he is okay with her giving her focus and attention to someone else (or vice versa), then there’s a problem. It’s no different with our relationship with the Lord. He loves and desires relationship with us and we break His heart when we choose the world over Him. There is an ongoing spiritual battle ensuing in the lives of believers (Eph. 6:12), but as we DAILY choose to submit to Him, be in His Word, pray, sing songs of praise, stay connected to the Body and stand firm in the faith, the devil flees. 

Dear Lord, please forgive me for the many times I have broken Your heart when I’ve desired things not in line with my calling in life and identity in You or when I’ve complained instead of been grateful for Your love for me. Thank You that You are jealous for my affection and that You relentlessly pursue me as a result. With Your Spirit’s help, I commit to choose You everyday as You have chosen me. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi