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!
 

John 9

Scripture – What stood out?

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

Observation – What does it say?

The blind man from birth had seemingly had a very long day. First, he was healed by Jesus, then summoned to the pharisees twice in the same day so that he could be questioned by them both times. He gets thrown out the second time around only to be found by Jesus, again.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Jesus had offered the blind man healing- his eyes which had not worked since birth could now see. As news spread of this miracle the town was soon divided by the notion of whose authority Jesus healed by. In John 9:28-29 the pharisees hurl insults at the blind man, exalting Moses because God clearly spoke to him, while sowing doubt about Jesus’s authority.

 30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

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

This turns out to be the blind man’s BEST DAY EVER.

He gets to see the world, but more importantly:

He gets to see his salvation!

 

Lord, give me boldness! Give me the courage to simply ask people if they know you! Help to sharpen me that I would be able to share your life with those you would send my way! May I be able to keep your message short, simple, and to the point. Help me to be a vessel, a delivery system, for your Holy Spirit to move through me! 

Lord I believe in you.

Send me to others that they may also believe!

In the name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

-Kenneth Lee

 



John_8

Scripture

John 8:20-11

“Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Observation-What does it say?

One morning Jesus went to the temple, where people gathered to hear Him teach. As He was teaching, some teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought Him a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. They asked Jesus what they should do to this woman. They were trying to set a trap for Jesus. The way He answered their question would determine if they would have any basis for accusing Jesus of wrongdoing. Jesus replied with an answer that cleared the room, and silenced the crowd. He said in verse 7, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”  With that being said, each person began leaving in silence one by one. You could have heard a pin drop, (or in this case, a stone drop). All who were left standing there were Jesus, and the adulterous woman.

Understanding-What does it mean?

God desires to bring healing and reconciliation to human relationships, rather than judgement and destruction.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”-John 3:17 NIV

If you think about it for a moment, Jesus was the only One who stood at those temple courts that day who had not sinned. So if anyone had the right to condemn and stone this woman, it would be Jesus. Instead, Jesus showed grace and compassion to this woman. He chose not to condemn her for her sins, and tells her to “go and sin no more.” 

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT

Life Application

Jesus is quick to forgive, but we as individuals have a part to play as well…We must believe in Him and repent!

Nothing further was recorded in the Bible about the woman in this story. I would like to think that she was able to turn her life around, believe in Jesus’ ways, repent from her sinful nature, and share the good news of the grace and mercy that was shown to her that day by a man named Jesus. I would like to think that she told everyone she came across with in life about the day she was saved from an inevitable gruesome death, and instead was given another opportunity in life, and that the people who heard her story wanted to know more about the man who saved her…Jesus.

Father God thank You for the grace and mercy that You surround me with each and everyday! Please forgive me for being judgmental against other sinners, when I should be looking at my own sinfulness, and doing something more about it. Give me a heart of compassion and love towards others like You. Help me to share with others the good news of how You saved me. May You give me the passion to share it in a way that encourages others to yearn to know more about You as well. Holy Spirit open my eyes and heart to the people You would like me to share with today. May You give me the right words to speak into their lives. In Your holy and precious name Jesus, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi



Proverbs_26

Scripture

Proverbs 26:12

Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.

Observation – What does it say?

The first 11 verses of this chapter illustrate the Bible’s negative view, and ultimately God’s negative view (as the Bible’s author), of fools. In many of the proverbs, the fool is portrayed as the person on the opposite end of the spectrum from the wise and righteous. For the past 25 chapters, we’ve seen that there is no benefit to being a fool. The person who is most despised and hopeless appears to be the fool. Then comes a major insight in this verse:

There is someone more hopeless than the fool. It’s the person who is wise in their own eyes.

UnderstandingWhat does it mean?

As I read the first 11 verses of this chapter, I found myself thinking, “Dang, good thing I’m not a fool!” Then, as if wise Solomon knew this would be the thought of some, he delivers a tremendous blow to them (and me!) in verse 12. “If you think you’re wise in your own eyes, you’re worse off than the fool.”

Ouch! I fell into the trap.

These are the same people Jesus had the hardest time with. The religious leaders and teachers of the law thought they had it all together and complained about Jesus, “Why are you and your disciples always hanging out with sinners?!” Jesus replied, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Jesus avoided those who thought they were healthy, thought they were righteous and thought they were wise. And he pursued those who realized they were sick, realized they were sinful and realized they needed wisdom.

Psalm 138:6 Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.

Life Application

Repent of pride!

God, forgive me for my pride! Humble me and remove any offensive way in me. I can’t bear the thought of you keeping your distance from me! You are my only hope for this life and for eternity. I desire you above all things and long for more of your presence in my life. Destroy my pride and make me more aware of my desperation for you. Amen.

– Levi Thompson



John_6

S– “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this:  “to believe in the one he has sent.”

O– The book of John offers the reader a progressive revelation of Jesus.  Each of the four Gospels relate the story of Jesus from a distinct point of view, according to the purpose of each writer.  Here in chapter 6 Jesus orchestrates the feeding of five thousand, and He is seen walking on the water.  His sphere of power now extends over quantity (just ask the five thousand men who found themselves  at a catered event) and natural laws; have you walked on water lately?

U– In the Spring of 2005, my wife and I attended a five month YWAM school of missions.  The first 3 months were dedicated to “knowing Jesus and building an attitude of community.”  The Last 2 months were, as the saying goes, where the rubber meets the the road.  We were headed to Mongolia.  Our team was assembeled from four nations, some singles, some married, some married with children and a paralytic.  There was so much to do to get reading “to go and do.”  On the surface we seemed to o be identilfied by what we were going abroad to do.  That all shifted one  day as I was sitting in a cafeteria of the YWAM Mercy Ships training facility.  The place was huge but,  for the moment is was just our little band of missionaries.  And, there it was on the wall, a picture frame with the words of John 6:29.  Scores of medical professionals would soon  fill the campus in waves then be commissioned to ports all over the world.  Each one paying their own way, taking time off from their occupations.  But the real work, the indispensable “work of God” was then and is today,  believing in the one who was sent.  By believing we are  able to keep the main thing………. the main. 

L– We praise  you Lord for your unwavering commitment to those who belong to you .  You said, he who believes has everlasting Life.  Yet, there are some who do not believe (verse 47, 64).  Before we go out and  change the world, nation, country, state, city, neighborhood  draw us first into a vibrant and purposeful relationship with the One you have sent Lord.  And, let us not shy away from our responsibility as your sent ones.  In the Name of Jesus.
 
Warren Vivian


John_5

Scripture
 
John 5:8-12
 
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.'” So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
This is one of Jesus’ first recorded miracles. He noticed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years and told him to get up and pick up his mat and walk. The man obeyed Jesus and was healed. When I read the chapter through a second time, it struck me that when Jesus healed the man, he specifically told him to pick up his mat and take it with him. Why? It turns out that this happened on the Sabbath, and people weren’t allowed to do any work on the Sabbath. Jesus knew that a man carrying a mat would draw attention. And he was right. The man was stopped and questioned. And when the man told the questioners that he had been HEALED, they didn’t ask who had healed him, instead they wanted to know who told him to carry a mat on the Sabbath! Jesus was purposely challenging the Jewish leaders who had taken the relationship between man and God and changed it into a rigid, ritualistic set of rules to follow. He was letting them know he was here to shake things up.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
I have to fight my tendency to make following God into a list of boxes I need to check off: go to church on Sunday-X, read my Bible in the morning-X, pay my tithe-X. I’m good! But that is not what God wants from me. He wants relationship. He wants time. He wants me to put Him first. He wants me to learn to hear His voice and respond to His promptings. If I need some rules to follow, here they are: Matthew 22:36-40: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
 
Life Application
 
Jesus, forgive me – again. I don’t know why it is easier for me to DO things rather than to BE with You. Thank you for reminding me that I cannot ever do enough to earn my salvation – it is a gift you gave me because You love me. Help me to remember everyday to put relationship with You above all else. 
 
-Debbie Dunn
 


John_4

Scripture – What stood out?

John 4:34 

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 

Observation – What does it say?

Jesus had been speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well. His disciples had just rejoined him, having returned with food from town. His disciples ask him in John 4, 

31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

Understanding – What does it mean?

Jesus responds to his disciples by trying to teach them of a different type of nourishment, a different type of food. He spoke of a food that is broken down into two parts, doing the will of God and finishing His work.

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

Do what God wants you to do,

finish the job he gave you to do,

and be fed because of it.

Several months ago as I was chatting with a pastor. We were talking about spiritual food because my journal entry for that day involved this concept of us having a “spiritual stomach” as well as our normal ones. I was whining to him that I have a habit of eating junk food in the foolish hopes that by filling up my normal stomach, some of the food would spill over into my spiritual one.

And I remember so clearly the pastor, smiling back at me calm as could be, and he told me – most people don’t realize that it’s your spiritual stomach that is capable of overflowing into your normal one, never the other way around. (cue the mini explosion in my brain and blank look in my eyes.)

And so Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching me that doing God’s will and finishing His work, can be food for me! I pray that this precious food would fill my spiritual stomach to overflowing. And I thank you for sending Pastor Levi so many months ago to help lay the groundwork for this teaching. Thank you Lord. In the name of Jesus do I pray. Amen

-Kenneth Lee



John_3

Scripture

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Observation-What does it say?

One night Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to visit Jesus in secret. Nicodemus surely realized through Jesus’ teachings and the miracles he performed, that Jesus was sent from God. What Nicodemus failed to realize was he was actually speaking to God in the flesh. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about things of God’s kingdom, God’s love for people, and God’s redemptive plan for mankind. It is a verse that echoes throughout believers to this day.

Understanding-What does it mean?

If there is one verse to memorize and share with others…

The gospel of John will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first book of the Bible my father had me read when I was young. The verse that I chose today (John 3:16), was also the very first verse my dad had me memorize when I was a kid too. As a kid I could honestly say that when I memorized this verse, I just did it for the sake of memorizing it. They were just words to me. Then the more I went on in life, the more this verse seemed to follow me wherever I turned. I found it being referenced by the pastors who I listened to on Sunday mornings. I would hear it referenced on the radio stations in the car as my dad drove our family places. I even turned on the television to watch a sports game with my dad, and some fan would be holding a bright neon sign referencing this verse! God must have been trying to tell me something, and am I glad He did! All these “coincidences” of running into this verse wherever I went and whatever I did had me really question what this verse truly meant to me. 

The further I meditated and prayed over this verse, I realized just how much God loves me! No matter how sinful and unworthy I may be, He still loves me! He provided a way for me to spend eternity with Him. Others who may not understand the Christian faith see it as too much of a sacrifice on their part to leave their sinful lifestyle behind. But it is God, who sacrificed so much for us, that He was willing to die for us.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”-Romans 5:8 NIV

And it is through this act of love in which I choose to follow Jesus.  He is my redeemer.  He is my Lord and Savior.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”-John 3:17 NIV

Life Application

As a Christ-Follower, I need to be less judgmental, and more compassionate and loving with others.

Thank you Jesus for your grace, mercy, sacrifice, and love. I’m thankful to serve a God like you. Thank you for providing this world an opportunity to spend eternity with you in Heaven. Thank you for choosing me God. May you help me to share your redemptive plan with others who may not know it. Give me the words to speak to them in a way that they can understand, so that you may open their eyes and heart to it. I lift these prayers onto you Jesus, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi 



John_2

Scripture
 
“But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”
‭‭John‬ ‭2:21-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Observation-What does it say?
 
Jesus was answering the Jews who asked him by what authority he was speaking (right after He cleared the Temple Courts). Jesus spoke about destroying the Temple and He would rebuild it in 3 days. The Jews thought he was speaking about the physical temple, but Jesus was speaking about His physical body. In verse 22, it states that the disciples recalled what Jesus had said when He was raised from the dead. It made them believe the Scripture and the words they had spoken.

Understanding-What does it mean?
 
The revelations of Jesus are not always gifted to the human mind and heart right away.

It took Jesus dying and being raised from the dead for His disciples to recall what He said and believe the words He spoke. That revelation wasn’t given to them when Jesus first said it.  They recalled it later.

Life Application
 
Persevere in reading His Word and seeking His face. Although a revelation may not come to you right away, it eventually will as long as you don’t give up.

The Lord reveals Himself to us everyday. Have you ever read a Scripture passage that you read several years ago, but you read it again today and something new pops out? Or have you ever read something that wasn’t applicable for that time, but then it pops up in your mind months, years or even decades later when you do need it? That’s how the Word of God is. That’s why His Word is timeless and we must not give up in meeting with Him through prayer and His Word and also meeting together at church every Sunday.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles‬ ‭28:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ ”” Matthew‬ ‭15:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Dear Lord, I pray that DSC would be a church that not only honors you with our words, but also our hearts as we spend time in prayer, the Word and worship. May we be so enamored by Your love for us, that our faith in You would be relationally based, not rule based. Thank You for loving us first Jesus and enabling us to draw near to You. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi


John_1

What a great chapter this is, filled with such quotable verses.  The Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.  The promise that whoever receives  Christ has been given the right to be called children of God. And so much more.  One of the things that challenges me from this chapter is the response of three people who encounter God.
 
John encounters God and declares to everyone who He is.  John had a good thing going but his entire ministry was to introduce Jesus.  He did just that – twice in this chapter we see John pointing away from himself and pointing people to Jesus and introducing them to Him.
 
Then Andrew hears what John declares about Jesus so he goes to investigate.  Look at what Andrew did immediately after hearing and investigating – he goes and tells someone else about Jesus.  He doesn’t wait till he has been trained by Jesus.  He doesn’t fully understand all the theological implications of it all.  He goes and tells about Jesus within his relational networks.  Andrew tells Peter and Peter comes to investigate.
 
Next Jesus meets Philip and calls Philip to follow him.  Philip comes along with Jesus but he does exactly what Andrew did, he not only follows Jesus but he goes and finds Nathanael and invites him to come and meet Jesus.  All these guys did was invite them to come and meet Jesus, once they met Jesus, He did the rest and the men made a decision to follow.
 
I am challenged to go into my circle of friends and invite them to encounter Jesus.  The way I do that is to tell them the stories of what Jesus has done in my life.  I invite them to attend church with me as well.  These men were not highly learned, well trained and well versed men, but they were doing something that all of us can do – introducing their friends to Jesus.


2 Thessalonians 3

Scripture
 
 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13
 
We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
 
ObservationWhat does it say?
 
Paul was addressing an issue among some in the church in Thessalonica – idleness. In the Matthew Henry Bible Commentary, Henry says, “It is probable that these persons had a notion (by misunderstanding some passages in the former epistle) concerning the near approach of the coming of Christ, which served them for a pretence to leave off the work of their callings, and live in idleness.” In other words, Jesus is coming back soon, so we can just coast until then.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Jesus has saved us! But that is not the end of the story. He gave us a calling – to go out and make Him known. He doesn’t want us to rest until the whole world knows about His love for them. Matthew 9:35-38: Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Are we being spiritually idle, concerned only for our own salvation? Or will we accept our calling and get to work?
 
Life Application
 
Lord, change my self-centered heart and fill me with Your compassion for those that are harassed and helpless, sick and in need of You. Open my eyes to opportunities to share Your goodness with those I come in contact with. No more excuses – I’m too shy, that’s not my gifting, others will do it – and help me, and all of us, to walk in our calling to know You and make You known.
 
-Debbie Dunn