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!




Luke 9:13-17

13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.



The chapter begins with a reminder that when Jesus called the twelve, they were given “power and authority” – and nothing else.  The power and authority to “drive out demons and to cure diseases” was all they were to bring – no extra clothes, food, no bag to carry anything in.  They were fully equipped for the journey. 



The miracles of Jesus multiplying food are some of my favorites. 

  1. I love food.
  2. I love the picture of provision it shows – even in the seemingly logistically impossible.

And…right now, in the midst of the pandemic, that provision message hits different. 

As we look ahead into a bunch of unknowns, many are filled with fear, scarcity thinking and, logistically speaking, that thought process makes sense.  But, what’s awesome, is we serve a God that makes sense of the nonsense, makes possible what seems impossible – whether that’s stretching two fish and five loaves to feed five thousand or stretching your last paycheck to last two extra weeks…or whatever the circumstances may be.  And, in true Jesus fashion, there will probably be leftovers!

And what did the disciples have to do to make it possible?  They collected the fish they had, they put what they had in Jesus’ hands, then they took what Jesus gave them and distributed to the people, then picked up the leftovers…and “they all ate and were satisfied.”


Life Application:

Remember the source.  Everything we have comes from Him. 

Remember he can do far more with a portion of the total than we can do with the total.

Give Him the first fruits. 

Distribute the rest as He directs.

Trust that God’s got you covered with what’s left.




Scripture:  Isaiah 46:9-10  Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’


Observation-What does it say?  Chapter 46 of Isaiah takes place during Israel’s exile to Babylon.  In this section of the book (chapters 40-55), Isaiah is proclaiming the period of salvation for Israel and God bringing them out of captivity and judgement.  Although they had suffered His judgement-which was a result of their disobedience-He still loves them and cares for them.  Where chapters 1-39 spoke of a future king, chapters 40-55 speak of a coming servant who carries out God’s purpose at great cost.  Chapters 46-47 addresses the submission of God’s people to pagan idols and the burden these idols place on the backs of those who worship them.  But God, the real God, carries our burdens and has the ability to act on our behalf.


Understanding-What does it mean?  The other day, I responded to an alarm call at work.  I found out from a neighbor, the homeowner had set the alarm off themselves as they left the house and would be back soon.  As a precaution, I did a check around the house to make sure there were no signs of a burglary before they arrived.  In the backyard, behind a pile of boxes and underneath a loose covering, I saw a motorcycle that looked as if it had been forgotten.  As I got a closer look at it, I saw it was a Harley Davidson and my interest peaked, because it was clearly older than me.  When the man and his wife of 60 years got home, I advised them their house appeared secure and jumped right into the important question.  “How old is that Harley?”


It turned out to be a 1941 Harley Davidson servi-car and he had owned it since he was 15.  For the next twenty minutes or so, I spoke with this couple and their neighbor about cars and things of the past, how he had driven 150 miles an hour for nearly ten minutes in his Pontiac, which was also in the backyard.  The conversation reminded me that people often go through some pretty crazy things during life, and most often come out alright on the other side.


In Christ, we have the ultimate security that things will be alright.  Actually, things are going to be much better than alright.  God has great and wonderful plans, which he always comes through with.  We know that He is “the same yesterday and today and forever!”(Hebrews 13:8).  His plans are for us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11), and they always turn out for our good (Romans 8:28-30).  Despite all of the “uncertainty” of today, we can be certain that our God prevails.


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to learn how to pray.  When I am anxious, help me to lay all my cares on you and actually trust you.  Even as things are uncomfortable and unknown, I know that my future is secure in you and that I have no reason to fear.  

-Tyler Galloway


Scripture What stood out?

Isaiah 45

4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,

    of Israel my chosen,

I summon you by name

    and bestow on you a title of honor,

    though you do not acknowledge me.

5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;

    apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you,

    though you have not acknowledged me,

6 so that from the rising of the sun

    to the place of its setting

people may know there is none besides me.

Observation What does it say?

In this chapter Isaiah’s prophesy, which I am defining as a message from God which sometimes refers to future events, concerns Cyrus who will end the Babylonian exile of the Israelites. The chapter goes on to reveal and reiterate the characteristics and nature of God as best expressed in our words and ideas.

Understanding What does it mean?

Several things stood out to me from the above verses. I have since gone back and re read these three verses 5 additional times mulling them over in my head and in my heart asking God to reveal to me what he meant by them. This is what I believe He imparted to me: God desires to be acknowledged…by us. 

While verse 4 has a very literal interpretation (the Israelites were in agony, having been in Babylonian captivity), I also felt HS show me of one other. I think it is easy for Christians to sometimes envy the relationship that God had with the nation of Israel. Look at how they are spoken about by Him, “Israel my chosen”. If you are a Christian, you long to hear those words spoken aloud by God about yourself. And as I thought these thoughts I remembered the promise spoken over Isaac and Abraham in Genesis 22:18…and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.

God’s blessing over me, over all of us came through Jesus, who came for not one nation, but all nations on earth. It’s why sometimes God summons you by name, even though you don’t acknowledge Him. 

There is no mention of love in the above three verses. But I remember a time when I walked onto a dance floor and desperately wanted my childhood crush to just notice me. She never did. Her heart belonged to another. However, I contend that God’s heart does belong to you. You are His childhood crush. And he desperately wants you to notice Him. 

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

I choose to take notice of you today. I will notice you in the beauty of the outside world and the beauty of the inside world. I will take 5 minutes today and just think about how my whole life you have been calling out to me. By name. Even though for so long I did not acknowledge you.

I love you Lord,

-kenneth lee

Luke 6


Luke: 6:45


“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

Observation-What does it say? 
In this passage, Jesus is not speaking to a general audience, He was speaking to His disciples and anyone else who chose to align themselves with Him. Jesus spoke on the Beatitudes, the importance of loving your enemies, He spoke on not judging others, and in this particular verse, He spoke on knowing if a person was a true disciple by their actions-(knowing a tree by the fruit it produces). How a person talks and acts will show the true colors of their heart.
Understanding-What does it mean?
You’re just like your dad.
Have you ever received that comment in your life? Depending on what the person is referring to, it can be a good or a bad thing. For me, I get my stubbornness from my dad. But I also have his hard work ethic. I also get my rugged good looks from him. And from that last statement, you also know now that I get my silly sense of humor from him as well. 🤣 The point is we all obtain characteristics from our parents whether they are good ones or bad ones. It’s in our DNA. It’s also from being around them constantly and how they raised us to be.
So if you consider yourself to be a Christ Follower, you should have some of your Heavenly Father’s traits. Or should I say your actions should be producing some of the fruits of the spirit.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
-Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬a‬‬
You see, once you accept Jesus into your heart, you are now adopted into the family of God. He is now your Heavenly Father, who leaves you His Holy Spirit to help strengthen and guide you in your daily life. Our relationship with Jesus is one of a Father and child. So, it’s only natural if we spend our time with Him and follow His instructions, that we too will begin to look and act like Him. At the end of the day, the fruit of a person’s life-their words and actions, reveals who is and is not a true follower of Jesus. A believer’s actions must match his or her professions-(Romans 8:5-8).
Life Application
Do my words and actions reflect that I am a follower of Christ Jesus?
Father God, forgive me for the times my actions and words fall short of Your calling. I pray that You continue to fill me with your Holy Spirit, help me to be obedient to Your will, and guide me to fulfill Your ways. Help steer me away from being a tree that produces bitter fruits, that withers away and is thrown into the fire. Instead help me to be a tree that produces fruit, that helps nurture and feed others in need. In your Holy name I pray, Amen.
-Moses Gaddi


Isaiah 43:18-19
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
Observation-What does it say?
“In this chapter the Lord comforts his people. By his divine foresight he perceives that there are great and varied trials a little way ahead, and therefore He prepares them for the ordeal. They are to go through rushing waters and flaming fires; and He kindly bids them not to be afraid.” (Spurgeon’s Verse Expositions-Isaiah
Understanding-What does it mean?
God is in control.
The Lord brings comfort unlike no other. He was the only TRUE source of comfort for Israel and continues to be the only true source of comfort during this time.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Psalm 119:76
“Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” Isaiah 49:13 NIV
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Life Application
Continue to meditate on God’s Word and His promises/character during this time.
It’s easy for us to dwell on the past and wish for things to go back to the way it used to be. However, God is doing a NEW thing and just like He encouraged Israel, we must forget the former things and not dwell on the past. He is doing something new!
For me personally, Covid-19 has shaken my world and changed everything for me from my daily schedule, to my Sabbath, to my work, to homeschooling, to ministry, to my meal planning, shopping days, date nights, hugs, time with my extended family, etc. It’s like everything in my life that I felt was in order got completely shaken up! BUT, God is creating something beautiful with this new normal of mine by forcing me to let go of how things used to be. After 5 weeks of grieving and completely letting go of how things used to be, I’m starting to see it even more clearly now!
I do not want to dismiss the struggle that many of us are still facing right now (like not being with each other in person), but if you take time to meditate on His Word and meditate on the positives that have come about in the last 5 weeks, it’s amazing what God will reveal to you.
Praying for you and I miss you all dearly!
-Michelle Gaddi



Isaiah 42:5-7

 This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.



Chapters 40-55 are known as “Deutero-Isaiah” and date from the time of the Israelites‘ exile in Babylon. This chapter contains a poem known as the first of the “Servant songs” about the servant – which depending on what you read is Israel/Israelites, Jesus or Cyrus.  []. The chapter begins with the character of the servant (vs. 1-4) followed by God’s promise to His servant.



I escaped lockdown this weekend for some much-needed nature therapy at Ventura County beaches.  I’m often struck with awe at the understanding that the same God that created this crazy beautiful planet we live on and universe we live in – from its thousands of grains of sand, the huge expanse of the ocean and the varying decibels of the ocean waves crashing, that huge ball of gas that our planets orbits around and the stars in the sky that are too numerous to count – that God created and knows us…to the very number of hairs on our heads.  [Which based on the number I lose daily, to stay up to date on that seems a job in itself.] Yet that God knows us, loves us and considers us “perfectly and wonderfully made.”


And He did all of this – from sky and earth creation to Adam and Eve to the many generations between that brought us to this specific time in the blink of an eye we call life – for the purpose of relationship, for us knowing Him and making Him known. 


And, with that, comes a calling and a Holy Spirit empowerment…


“7 to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”


Life Application:

Know Him. [Spend time with Him.]

Make Him known. [Share His love with others.]

Live/walk in His power.  Now [and I mean especially now] is no time to hold back or hide our flames.  We must shine and burn brighter, walk in the power that He has bestowed in us and through us – taking  every opportunity to share His love, grace, healing, kindness, justness, patience, goodness…in ways big and small. 




PS As I read commentaries, I also loved and was encouraged by the below in reference to verses 3 and 4.


A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”


A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench: This is another reference to the gentle character of Jesus. A reed is a fairly fragile plant, yet if a reed is bruised, the Servant will handle it so gently that He will not break it. And if flax, used for tinder to start a fire, does not flame but only smokes, He will not quench it into extinguishing. Instead, the Servant will gently blow on the smoking flax, fanning it into flame again.

“We call ourselves Christians, but if you are like me, sometimes you are desperately ashamed of how dimly your light burns. There is far more smoke than fire: so little prayer, so little real testimony, so much depression and discouragement. But the Lord says He will not extinguish the smoking flax.” (Redpath)

“He is not dismissive of others: however useless or beyond repair (bruised reed), however ‘past it’ and near extinction (smouldering wick) they may seem. The negative statements imply their positive equivalents: he can mend the broken reed, fan into flame the smouldering wick. The former has been internally damaged, the latter lacks the external nourishment of oil. The Servant is competent both to cure and to supply.” (Motyer)


Jesus sees the value in a bruised reed, even when no one else can. He can make beautiful music come from a bruised reed, as He puts His strength in it! Though a smoking flax – used for a wick on an oil lamp – is good for nothing, Jesus knows it is valuable for what it can be when it is refreshed with oil. Many of us are like the bruised reed, and we need to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16). Others are like the smoking flax and can only burn brightly for the LORD again when we are drenched in oil, with a constant supply coming, as we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wants us to have His heart towards the lowly, broken, and hurting. It’s easy to pass them by just as quickly as the priest and the Levite passed the man on the road to Jericho. “The superficial Christian worker ignores that kind of situation. He wants a sphere to serve where it will be worthy of his talent, if you please. A task where his abilities will be recognized and used, something that is big enough to justify all the training he has undergone. In the eyes of the Lord, the test of the real servant is, does he bend with the humility of Jesus Christ over a bruised reed and smoking flax?” (Redpath)

He will bring forth justice for truth. He will not fail nor be discouraged: The Servant is gentle, but not weak. He will bring forth justice for truth. There aren’t two ways about it; it will happen, and failure or discouragement will not stop the Servant.

Till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law: The work of the Servant will extend to the whole earth, and all the peoples – even those in the distant coastlands – shall serve Him.



No one is too far gone to be loved and used by God…and justice will come, in God’s time and in God’s way, but it will come. 


Scripture:  Proverbs 25:21-22  If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the Lord will reward you.


Observation:  Proverbs 25-29 were Proverbs of Solomon, though they were transcribed during the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah.  Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz, who had not been faithful to follow God’s commands.  During Hezekiah’s reign, he directed Judah and Israel back to the practices of worship in the temple.  “Hezekiah did all he could to reinstate the pure worship of God. He organized instruction in the laws of the Torah throughout the country, and he restored the daily services of the Holy Temple in all its splendor”( It is apparent he was interested in the people of Judah and Israel acting in a way that would honor God.  He wanted to step away from the worship of idols that had become so commonplace during his father’s reign.


Understanding:  When I was in the police academy, I was immersed into a new way of life.  I did many things, like shaving my head, which I would have never done before.  I endured vigorous training and harsh criticism all with the goal of becoming a new person, a special member of society.  It was drilled into my head that I was going to be held to a higher standard of life, and that my life would be scrutinized by others, all because of a profession I chose.  It was all done for good reason, since the social contract in which we live relies on the trust placed in the integrity of those in charge.  Therefore, I had to look and act in a way that was without reproach.  Obviously, not all people who become police officers live up to this standard.  The media lets us know this in no uncertain terms and would have you believe that all of those in authority are corrupt.   


When we profess Jesus as Lord, we take on a similar transition.  Though in Christ, we are called to even more exacting standards than a police officer.  Jesus makes this clear when he told his followers to pluck out your eye if it makes you stumble (Matthew 5:29).  The Apostle Paul expounds on this saying of Solomon in Romans 12, where he discusses dedicated service to others.  In Romans, Paul discusses a similar transformation to a police academy, where we are to shun the ways of the world.  Through the renewing of our minds, we can serve others fully with humility.  And we are challenged to treat others with kindness in the face of adversity.


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to have patience with others like you are patient with me.  When I find myself frustrated with the world encroaching on my “rights,” help me to remember the life you gave up to save mine.  Help me to imitate your humility and your attitude of grace to others.  And if you call me to be uncomfortable for your cause, help me to accept that with thanksgiving.  

-Tyler Galloway

Luke 2



Luke 2:49-52 

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.


Jesus’ family was in Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 


Jesus knew his calling. He was so drawn to being near his calling he left his parents, who were anxiously looking for him, to be where he needed to be. 

But his parents didn’t understand. Maybe their spiritual eyes were not open yet. 

Jesus was only 12 years old. 

He went to Nazareth with his parents and was obedient to them.

I think Jesus grew in wisdom and stature because of his obedience to those who had been given spiritual authority over him, ultimately God was leading him. 


I think sometimes its like that for us too. Maybe we know there is something we are supposed to be doing. Maybe we can feel it in our bones. 

Sometimes others around you may not see it. It’s ok. 

We are all growing, some of us more mature than others but we are all still growing. 

Sometimes we need to do what God is asking us to do. We may need to “go back” to the last thing God asked of us. It may not be where you will end up but it’s where you need to be, now. 

In that place there is learning. In that place there is training. For the place you will go, later. 

Ultimately, God is leading you. Follow Him. 


Luke 1


Luke 1: 76-79

And you, my child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.


A lot goes down in Luke chapter one. So here’s the nice condensed version:

  • The birth of John is predicted, and his father loses his speech because he can’t believe it
  • The birth of Jesus is predicted (no one loses their speech or virginity there)
  • Mary visits the mother of John, Elizabeth is is far along in her pregnancy
  • Mary gets so excited that she sings a song of adoration
  • John is born, is almost not named John, but then is (his father, Zechariah gets his speech back)
  • Zechariah prophesies over his son, and pretty much gets it all right


I think it is fair to argue that John has some pretty big shoes to fill. For starters, his parents are pretty well-known in his community so he has to live up to the family name. If that isn’t stressful enough he also has to pave the way for the literal Son of God… no biggie, right? Wrong! If I were John I’m not sure I would know how to cope or deal with the mounting expectation placed on me. But here’s the honest truth: if we are called followers of Christ, we have this same mounting expectation of us.

I know what you’re thinking, “Wait what? I wasn’t born to usher Jesus into the earth. My sole purpose is not to baptize Jesus either…” You may have not been born for those sole purposes, but the moment you gave God the right to tell you what to do, you offered your life as an embodiment of ushering Jesus in. I know that doesn’t make much sense either, let me explain:

My job as a Christ-follower is to bring Jesus to others. I am to usher in the Presence of God wherever I go. There’s no question of whether God is with us, He’s with us the moment that we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. The question is whether or not we’ve created an environment for Him to move in the lives of others. In other words, we are tasked with the same mission that John the Baptist was given when He was born. Daunting, but also an extreme honor to carry.

Life Application

So I know I just made all of that sound extremely unattainable and scary, but I promise it isn’t. In order to make room for God to move, we must make time to understand His heart. That means getting familiar with His ways through His word and through prayer. It means actually spending time with people who could use a move of God. It means making yourself available to be used by Him. It means actually knowing Him. A simple start, but it leads to powerful encounters. Let’s be the reason that someone experiences the Presence of God.

-Allison Khan



Proverbs 22:15 

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

Observation-What does it say?

King Solomon continues with sharing his wisdom in Proverbs. King Solomon was King David’s son. I believe that many of his wise counsel came from personal experience, including things his father and/or mother taught him, especially with this verse related to children.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Based on this proverb from God’s Word, children are not born innocent. They are actually born foolish. This is why discipline is necessary. This is why God gave children parents; it was not just to provide for their basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing, but also to love them and teach them the right way they should go. The only command with a promise in the Word of God is for children to honor and obey their parents. The promise is that life will go well for our children as they trust and obey our wise counsel.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.””
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Prov. 22:6

Life Application

We may no longer be children based on our age in the world’s eyes, but we are still children; children of the King of kings. Therefore, we must take discipline and correction seriously and learn from it.

My favorite line in the hymn “Come thou fount” says, We are prone to wander. We need the guidance of our Heavenly Father, His Holy Spirit, His Word and other Spirit filled people to keep us on the straight and narrow path. We must be willing to accept Truth spoken over our lives and be humble enough to accept it instead of getting defensive about it.

Proverbs 22:4-“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life”

Proverbs 12:1-“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”

Proverbs 15:31-33-“Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor.”
Dear Lord, thank You that You adopted us into Your family and we are Your children. I pray that we would always come to You with child like faith and humility. I pray we would trust and obey Your Word and also trust the authority and leaders You have placed over us to submit to. May we continually pray for our fellow parents (especially now) who are raising children and also leaders who keep watch over us and who will be giving an account for our lives in Heaven. May their work be a joy and not a burden (Heb. 13:7). I pray for fruit from our labors whether we are parents, spouses, ministry leaders, pastors or all of the above. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi