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!
 

1 Samuel_26

Scripture
 
1 Samuel 26:10
 
“Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Once again Saul and his men are hunting after David… AGAIN!!! David learns about it, goes out one night, and what does he find?… Saul and his men asleep along the hillside.-(Saul and the commander of his army, Abner, were sleeping inside a ring, formed by the rest of the slumbering  army). So once again, God had delivered David’s enemy to him, and David shows mercy instead of vengeance. You see, while Saul and his men were caught napping on the job, David and his men were close enough to strike and kill them; but they chose to spare Saul and his men, and show them grace and mercy instead. 
‭‭
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Instead of taking matters into his own hands, David trusts God’s hands. David trusts in God ways, God’s vengeance for His people, and God’s peace in his life.
 
David had yet another opportunity to rid this thorn in his side, who is Saul. Instead of taking matters into his own hands, by killing Saul, which many of us probably would have done, David chose to show him grace and mercy. How can he do this we might ask? I believe it’s because of his personal relationship with God, his trust in God. It is through this relationship and trust he has in God, that David was able to demonstrate submission and obedience to God’s ways. 
Imagine if David would have took the opportunity to kill Saul. What then? Maybe it would have caused dissension among the people. Some might believe what Saul was saying all this time was true, that David was out to kill Saul because he was after the throne. David on the other hand, would have disobeyed God, blood would be on his hands, and the people may have thought of him a murderer. Instead David’s choice to trust God, brought him peace of mind. He knew Saul’s blood would not be taken from his hands. He would be innocent of that. He knew by showing grace and mercy to his enemy that God’s favor would continue to bless him wherever he went and whatever he did. 
 
Life Application
 
We could all learn and use the faith and trust that David showed to God in our lives.
 
People are taking matters into their own hands, going out for vengeance because of the injustice they feel,  and bringing even more violence and bloodshed into this world. I know this breaks God’s heart. 
Doing what David did here isn’t easy. It takes faith! It takes faith in God, knowing and trusting that it is God who will bring you justice and will be your vengeance when it’s all said and done! The world needs more David’s. Whose willing to stand up and lead?
Father God, we need you now more than ever. We ask that you bring strength and obedience to your people as we take lead and take a stand against sin! Help us to trust you in your ways and your will. Give us patience to let you play things out accordingly. Help your people be beacons of light into a world that seems to be heading into darkness. May the rest of the world benefit from it, and understand just how much they need you. May the world remember the most heinous injustice done was to your only son Jesus. May the world remember why it had to be done. To free us from our sins. Thank you God. Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Psalms_80

Scripture

Psalm 80:17-18 (NKJV)

17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.

 

Observation

David crying out once again. Feeling as though he’s on the outs with God and seeking, crying out for restoration. He recounts that they were set apart – pulled out of Egypt. Acknowledges the “wins” provided by God (v 9-11)…but then asks why God has now turned away and asks Him to return.

Understanding

Just like last week…this verse speaks to me because I feel it’s representative of our church and, in this particular case, of PG’s heart. He’s been so open and honest with us about his own crying out and how God has restored his hope and confirmed His word, His vision that He gave to PG long ago. And, perhaps, now we are in the time where God is resting His hand upon the leaders that He’s raised up in our church. He’s reviving us, breathing life into dry bones and we are calling on His name.

Life Application

As I read today, it came heavy on my heart to be praying for the leaders within our church. We are so crazy blessed with dedicated, solid, talented leaders – prayer warriors, passionate speakers and worshipers with their ears turned to God who exemplify the Christian walk. Let’s lift them up. Cover them. Bless them. God has cast a mighty vision over His people and over THIS church…so, of course, the enemy is eager to steal, kill and destroy that plan – whether through temptations or distraction or whatever else he may attempt. We know God is all powerful, but the human flesh is week. May we lift each other and all those on the “front lines” up.

God, thank you for your covering over your children. Thank you that you love us enough to call us out, set us apart, gift us, empower us…all for Your honor and Your glory. Put Your hedge of protection around us, rest Your hand upon us and help to reorient our focus to you as many times as it takes…so that Your will be done in the areas of influence where you’ve placed us.

 

In Your Name, I pray.

Rei



1 Samuel_24

Scripture 
 
1 Samuel 24:6-7
So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way.
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Saul has been on a tirade for some time now. He has been pursuing David with the intention to kill him. During this pursuit, David is hiding in a cave with his closest companions, when Saul unwittingly walks in to “drop the kids off at the pool.” While Saul is indisposed, he is completely vulnerable to David. But David demonstrates his righteousness and submission to God’s will through humbly sparing the life of a ruler anointed by God. David was already anointed King, and would have been seen as justified if he decided to take the life of Saul. It would have been seen as his right as the future king. But, David was submitted to the king.
 
Understanding-What does it mean? 
 
I sat there having a conversation with my father-in-law about slow-pitch softball and some of my recent exploits where I nearly got kicked out of another game. That’s when he said, “The umpire is ALWAYS right.” As I presented my counter argument of, “what if he makes the wrong call?” He reaffirmed what he was saying, “The umpire is ALWAYS right.” It took me a little while to realize he wasn’t saying that the umpire never makes a bad call, but what is important in the game is submitting to the authority that the umpire holds. He was saying my attitude and character are more important than whether or not I was actually safe. My dad and my father-in-law are on two completely different ends of the spectrum when it comes to dealing with sports officials. During sports matches, my dad was more like John McEnroe. It was the worst when he was a coach. I watched this as a kid and started to develop my own attitude toward the officials, screaming and yelling when they made the wrong call… when I didn’t get my way. I started screaming and yelling at the guy who cut me off in traffic. I act this way because I feel like I am right, like I have justification and the right to do it. I act as though I am sovereign unto myself. If I were to take ques from David, I would see more clearly God as being king over creation and the one who places those in authority over me. I could learn to submit to God’s sovereignty in my life, and humbly give up “my rights” in favor of showing a Christ like love to others. Later in scripture, Paul tells us to pray for rulers, so that we may live quiet lives (1 Timothy 2:1-2). To the Philippians he writes,Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (2:3-4).
 
Life Application 
 
Jesus, help me to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit. Help me to invite him in everyday so that I can more closely resemble you. Remind me to be humble, and realize that I make some of the same mistakes that others do. Jesus, I want to live a quiet life. Guide our leaders, for you have placed them in their roles for your will to be completed.
 
 -Tyler Galloway
 


1 Samuel_23

Scripture

1 Samuel 23

4 Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.”

13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place.

16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.

Observation – What does it say?

David heard the Philistines were bullying Keilah, a city in the lowlands of Judah, and needed to be stopped. So David asked the Lord if he would give the Philistines into his hand, God said yes, and he did some major damage to the Philistines. They even left with the livestock (bbq items to celebrate the victory I guess). Soon after he gets word that Saul is coming for his life… again 🙁

Understanding – What does it mean?

Celebrate your victory, keep moving toward God’s promises, and surround yourself with godly people who believe God’s word for you!

Isn’t that so how it is! We have this incredible victory in our lives that God totally gave to us then the enemy is right there to let us know he’s still coming for us! I mean WhatTheHeck! I was victorious! I just did a 28 day fast with my church and the Holy Spirit came, amazing things were happening in my family, strongholds were broken and lives were changed and…here comes the enemy sending word that he’s got us on his radar and he’s coming for us 🙁  to top it off, the people in the city David just fought for, Keilah, were going to turn him over to Saul! ShakingMyHead…You do the right thing and still it seems you come out the loser.

But David kept moving,

It could have been so easy for him to stop,get down on himself, and let the enemy have his way but he kept moving in the direction of what the Lord had spoke over his life, to be king of Israel. And just when he needed it here comes Jonathan to lift up his Spirit! Yes, Thank you! I think God sent Jonathan to him.

1 Samuel 23:17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.

Jonathan, a loyal friend came to remind him of his future because God said it and no matter what…it was going to be so! He encouraged David to have faith, to stay strong, and to keep going.

Life Application – How can I apply this today?

We will have victories! We will be sought after by the enemy…BUT God has plans for us with a hope and a future, to prosper us and not to harm us!

We must keep moving toward His word and His promises. Keep reading our bible, keep cranking up that worship music, keep clinging to Him in the midst of adversity!

And… Here is where some of the best magic happens…Let ourselves be surrounded by the body of Christ. Let godly people that God has brought to us, (hint: DSC), speak life to us, encourage us, sharpen us, and remind us of God’s promises in our lives.

Father, thank you for the victories, be with us in our difficult times, strengthen us to keep moving toward your word for us, and direct us to build godly relationships where we can cheer each other on toward the prize and run the race together! In Jesus’s name Amen!



Psalm 77

Scripture

Psalm 77: 11-12 (NIV)

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.
 

Observation

Even in times of trouble we must rejoice in the Lord, it is in these “tough times” that we must remember God’s sovereignty and plans for our life. Although life may be hard in the moment, God is still God.
 

Understanding

God is with us always! Not only when times are good and we feel blessed, but in every aspect of our life.

Habakkuk 3: 17-18 (NIV) 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

It can be super easy to focus on all the bad aspects of life and its difficulties, so much so that we forget all the good that God has done. Yet, God is constantly moving. A constant feeling of being bogged down or tired is exactly the tactic the enemy uses to isolate believers from the community. God has done too many good things to simply forget His sovereignty and promises. Save a blessing for a rainy day! Consider these, meditate on them! The offers hope for a new day, a fresh start, a way to move forward. Even though there is sorrow in the night, God is gracious enough to grant us joy in the morning. The trying times means that something better is on its way. Rejoice in the waiting and take this time to remember the blessing that God has poured out. His works and deeds are never-ending, the more we lean into this faster the tough times feel. The enemy will have no choice but to flee. We are not forsaken or forgotten ever!
 
Life Application

Rejoice in the waiting!

At DSC we stand by the idea that “the best is yet to come!” It’s one thing to say it, but it’s another to believe it. Push aside fears and anxieties of the tough times and lean into God’s goodness and faithfulness. He’s never failed and He has a plan and purpose in everything.

-Allison Khan

 


Psalm_76

Scripture
 
Psalm‬ ‭76:4-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“You are radiant with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game. The valiant lie plundered, they sleep their last sleep; not one of the warriors can lift his hands. At your rebuke, God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still. It is you alone who are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet— when you, God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.”
‭‭
Observation-What does it say?

If I was to title this psalm, I would title it the greatness of our God. The Psalmist describes the Lord as radiant, majestic, the only One to be feared.

Understanding-What does it mean?

The greatness of our God is what makes Him worthy of our fear (aka respect).

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”`
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The definition of fear from the Oxford dictionary is: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
When used as a verb, the definition is: be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.

When we hear the word fear, it emotes feelings of anxiety, being scared of something/someone, being manipulated to do something we don’t want to do, etc. However, God doesn’t want us to fear him in the sense of being afraid of Him.

God’s character is nothing like the traits of the type of people or things to be afraid of. His character is always motivated by love and as Scripture says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:18-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Because we are in awe of Who He is and His character, and because He first loved us, we choose to respect (fear) Him.

Life Application
 
Don’t be a slave to the fear of this world. Fear the Lord because we are His child. Just like the song goes, “I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”

Fear of the Lord can be likened to honor and respect towards someone we trust. Also, honor and respect is not just believable through words, but actual works. If my kids don’t honor or respect me, there will be consequences. If I don’t love my kids, take advantage of my authority over them and promote them to anger all the time, there will be consequences in the sense that they won’t trust me. Also, that type of parenting is more of a dictatorship and is discouraged-(see Ephesians 6:4.)
If I don’t honor and respect my husband, there are consequences, and vice versa if I don’t feel loved by my husband. If I don’t honor or respect by boss, there are consequences and vice versa if I feel mistreated as an employee. I’m sure you get the picture.

The God of this universe is not only amazing because He’s Creator and the Great I Am. He’s amazing because He loved us first and did all the work on the front end of our relationship in order to make it easier to fear/respect and trust Him. Let’s give Him all the fear, honor, glory, worship and obedience that He’s due! Let’s surrender our whole lives to Him and His Spirit’s work in us everyday!

Song: Great I Am by Phillips, Craig and Dean https://youtu.be/y_VR-zwp2KA

-Michelle Gaddi


Psalm_75

Scripture

Psalm 75:1 (NKJV)

1 We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!

For your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.

Observation

I forever love David’s heart; he’s up, down, open, honest, raw.

In Chapter 75, he starts with giving thanks – written as plural, not just David but those in his kingdom, the congregation – and said twice for emphasis – that they gladly give thanks.

“We should praise God again and again. Stinted gratitude is ingratitude. For infinite goodness there should be measureless thanks.” (Spurgeon)

The second part of the verse give us the backstory…there’s ALWAYS stuff to give thanks for; but, here, it was because God was near and this was evident through His wonderous works.

“The name of God is said to be near, because it had come into public notice, and was in every mind and every tongue—opposed to what is unknown and obscure, which is said to be far remote.” (Venema, cited in Spurgeon)

“The reason for rejoicing lies in the manifest presence of God proclaimed and celebrated in the stories of God’s mighty acts. In remembrance and retelling of the history of salvation lies the comforting affirmation of God’s closeness to his people.” (VanGemeren)

The chapter goes on to speak of God’s judgment (in His time), speak to the proud and remind that exaltation come from God alone (stay humble).

Understanding

This verse stuck out to me because I feel it rings true for our church today. God is near! We’re seeing His wondrous works, experiencing His presence.

So it would follow that we must…

1) Give thanks!

2) Tell and retell of His manifest presence…not in a “hyped up” way but in the true, honest, raw way that David maintains throughout Psalms and in the way the “church of Acts” did.

3) Stay humble. Remember that God exalts and takes down.

Life Application

God, I’m grateful to be alive in a time where your presence is drawing near – a reminder that your power and presence are not just things from the past, written onto thin pages of a book from long ago, but that You are ALIVE TODAY! Thank You for using us, for moving through us and for showing us you are near. May we remain open, obedient and ready to be used in ways big and small.

In Your Name, I pray.

Rei

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



1 Samuel_19

Scripture:  1 Samuel 19:23  So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.

Observation-What does it say?:  David, having found favor in God’s sight, has become prosperous in everything he does.  Saul sees this and is threatened, to the point where he is now trying to secure his place as king through killing David.  But, God’s plans are not our plans, and He secures the leaders and governments according to His will.  So when Saul goes out to Naioth with the intention to kill David himself, he is captured by God’s spirit.  “So irresistible is the power of the Spirit of God that not only is Saul’s evil plan frustrated, but the king himself becomes ‘infected’.”*

Understanding-What does it mean?:  I was sitting there, drinking my shake and minding my own business, when this guy walks up and starts yelling at me and the group of high school kids I was with.  This guy was irate and apparently felt severely disrespected.  Not only that, he was completely concerned that one of our group was “looking” at him the wrong way.  I’m still not sure exactly what that means.   I was one of the adult “leaders” of the youth group at the church I was attending at the time, and had accompanied a few of the kids to In-N-Out that night.  

Not wanting to set a bad example for the kids, I decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to try and start a fight with someone who was clearly not using the soft tissue between his ears.  But, I still attempted to appeal to his more civilized side.  While sitting there, I looked at him and said, “We really don’t want any trouble, could you just leave us alone?”  The thing that stands out the most from that night was the loud and distinct sound my nose made as I blocked his fist with my face.  As red fluid began pouring out of my nostrils, the gentleman is running away saying “Peckerwoods!” (some fraternity he belongs to I guess).  This is when I realize my nose is broken.

Fast-forward about six months.  I walk into church with the same group of kids and who do I see, but the gentleman from the bird-watching society.  His hands are lifted and he is singing the same worship song as I am.  I could clearly see a peace on his face that was not there on the night he introduced himself so abruptly.  

God has a funny way of revealing himself to us.  His power can overcome any and all evil.  We have no need to fear those who can only kill us, because they can’t separate us from God.  Paul told us in Romans 8:31 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Therefore, we know we can proceed to follow God through all the scariest of things, even crazy bird lovers and people who are trying to kill us with spears.

Life Application: Jesus, what do I have to fear?  There is nothing greater than your love for me.  You alone bore the weight of my sin in order to bring into your covenant.  Help me to be infected with the Holy Spirit in a way that will be contagious to those around me.  I pray that Your will be done in my life and in the world, as it is in Heaven. 

*Zondervan Handbook to the Bible (1999) p.262 



1 Samuel_18

Scripture 

1 Samuel 18:23

But David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man and little known.”

Observation – What does it say?

Saul intended to give David his daughter in marriage, and ordered his attendants to encourage David to marry her. However, David was hesitant. Not because she was ugly or annoying, but because he didn’t feel worthy of marrying royalty.

Understanding – What does it mean?

God exalts the humble.

David amazes me! He had killed Goliath and in turn saved a nation, the people sang songs about him, exalting him above the king, he led troops into battle and was victorious every time, everyone loved him (except Saul), he succeeded at everything he did (see 1 Samuel 18:14) and the princess was in love with him.

With all this, how did David not get prideful? He was the man! Most men in his position would not hesitate to marry her. In all their success most men would feel entitled to have whoever they wanted, and probably be eyeing the throne as well. But not David. He experienced time and again the truth of Jesus’ words, long before they were uttered:

Matthew 23:12 …those who humble themselves will be exalted.

The only way David could respond that way to Saul’s attendants, after experiencing so much fame and success, is because he recognized that God was behind it all. It wasn’t his gifts, strengths, talents or wisdom that led to his exalting. He approached every challenge the same way he approached Goliath, in the name of the Lord. And when he succeeded he gave the glory to God. 

Life Application

Be humble! Recognize anything good that has come from me or through me has been 100% initiated and carried out by God.

God is moving in our church. He is going to be using you and me in more and more ways and will increase our influence and favor. He is with us, as he was with David, and so we can expect to find success at the things we’re putting our hands to. After every victory, every success, every compliment, it’s so important that the next time we are alone with God, we get on our knees and give God the glory for all of it.

– Levi Thompson 



1 Samuel_17

Scripture
 
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭17:26‬b
 
“Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
The Philistines and Israelite armies are all about ready to wage war. As both armies face off, the Philistines bring out their “secret weapon” and send him in front of the ranks. His name was Goliath. He stood over 9 feet tall, wore bronze armor that weighed 125 pounds, and carried a spear (in which the tip of it was made of iron and weighed 15 pounds alone)! This was an enormous warrior! Goliath hurled taunts against the Israelite army. He challenged them to bring their best fighter to face him. If they were able to defeat him, the Philistines would be their slaves. If Goliath won, the Israelites would be the Philistines’ slaves. When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified.
 
Enter the lowly shepherd boy David. David was on the battlefronts one day to deliver supplies to his brothers who were serving in Saul’s army. David then heard Goliath hurling insults at the Israelite army, defying them and their God. This grabbed David’s attention. Who does this guy think he is to defy the God of Israel?! Game on!!! David volunteered to fight this giant. He had to convince Saul for a minute, but Saul eventually let David face Goliath. And the rest, (we all know the results) is history.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Nothing is too big or scary for God to defeat!
 
Anyone who knows me knows that I love sports and comic book stories. That is why this passage never gets old for me. It’s something straight out of the comic books! A big, scary bad guy who defies what is good, versus the noble hero who stands up for what is right and what he believes in; Or the undefeated team who goes through the whole sports season unscathed and unchallenged facing off against a team that barely got in the playoffs. It’s what they call David vs. Goliath. This Bible story lives on today! Everyone loves seeing the good guy beat the bad guy, or the underdog defeat the favorite in sports. But what makes this story so special is the faith that David had in God. When everyone around him saw a scary monster raised to be a warrior from birth standing in their way, David saw the God of the universe, the Almighty One, the God of Israel, who was on their side. David may have only been a shepherd boy. He may not have had any fighting skills, but what he did have was a God who would protect him, protect His people, and destroy anyone who defied Him.
 
“So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can stand against us. And God is with us.”-Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭ERV
 
Life Application
 
Is there a “Goliath” in your life that needs to be defeated? Lean on God’s power and might.
 
Everyone has something in their life that they feel is way too big to overcome or impossible to defeat. Maybe it’s financial struggles, health issues, or just something you’ve been praying for that you haven’t seen answered yet. Whatever the case may be, just know that God is in control. The God of the universe knows what you’re going through and wants to help you through it. The question is, are you willing to put your complete trust in Him? Just knowing that God loves His children, and is always faithful to keep His promises is enough for me to stand firm in Him. And if I begin to forget, go back to His Word and see what God did for those who remained faithful to Him. It worked for Abraham. It worked for Joseph. It worked for David. And I know it will work for me! 😊
 
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are have been called according to his purpose.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬ 
 
-Moses Gaddi