Bible Reading Plan
Weekends: Read any passages of your choice or catch up if you’ve fallen behind 🙂
August 24: Ezekiel 5, John 18, Psalm 80
How To Soul Journal
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 13: 34-35

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus knows that his time in the world was soon coming to an end, and that he would be retuning to his Father in Heaven. So Jesus spends his last night with his disciples, eating with them, and washing their feet. Jesus was demonstrating to the very end the love he has for them. And now before he leaves them, Jesus instructs them with one final command, to love each other the way he has loved them.

Understanding-What does it mean?

If we as Christ Followers are called to love the way Jesus did, we must love blindly and unconditionally.

As I read this chapter, I am in awe of how loving Jesus is. Jesus knew who He was, where He came from, and where He was going. Still, Jesus had no sense of entitlement about Him. He served humbly all those in need, and willingly laid down His life for all. Jesus especially demonstrated this love the night He washed His disciples feet. I mean here was God in the flesh, and here He was in a lowly servant’s position washing His disciples feet. Not only that, but Jesus was still willing to wash the feet of Judas…the one who was going to betray Him! He shared an intimate dinner with Judas, and He washed his feet. He showed the same love to Judas, as He showed to the rest of His disciples. Now that is what I call a blind and unconditional love! How many of us can do that?

“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”-1 John‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Life Application

 “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” ‭Matthew‬ ‭5:46-48‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I try to remind myself of this verse every time I find myself heading down the path of anger and revenge towards the “unloveable”. I’m not going to lie, but it is something I struggle with. I tend to lean towards cursing my enemy instead of blessing them. It’s something I know God is trying to work in and through me as we speak. Doing today’s Soul Journal is a great reminder for me that I am far from perfect, and that I need to abide with the Holy Spirit in order to overcome this fault of mine.

Dear Jesus, forgive me for letting anger and pride get in the way of loving those you have called me to love. The grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love You have shown me countless of times is what I know I should be showing others around me. Jesus, I need You. I need Your strength and love to do this. Help me to do this. May You soften my heart to do so. I pray this in the power of Your name Jesus, Amen.
-Moses Gaddi


Scripture Proverbs 31:2 NIV “Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!”

Observation-What does it say? 
King Lemuel shares wisdom his mom gave him regarding his role as king. The first 7 verses, she gives advice on ways to protect his role as king. Verses 8-9, she speaks on how to treat the people, especially the poor, needy and those who cannot speak up for themselves. However, a bulk of this chapter, Verses 10-31, his mom gives him advice on the type of woman he should look out for to take as his wife, a wife of virtue and noble character. 
Understanding-What does it mean?
Listen to the advice of those who love us, protect us and want the best for us, such as our parents, spouses or spiritual parents/mentors. God gave them to us for a reason. 
King Lemuel’s mom is protective of her son as evidenced by the advice she gives him in this chapter. She wants to protect his professional life, but most importantly, his personal life. King Lemuel’s life as a king, which is a public influential figure and I’m sure attached with many riches, can be ruined by the wrong choice in wife. Therefore, the wife he chooses needs to be trustworthy, a hard worker, loving and a servant to the people, a good manager of the home, worthy of respect and wise. Most importantly, she must fear the Lord. He cannot only look for the most charming and beautiful woman, because that is fleeting and deceptive. All those good character traits are the fruits of being a Godly woman. 
Life Application
Seek to be a Godly woman (or man) and attract the same in the process. 
What I find interesting about this chapter is that it not only describes what a good woman is like. Many of those traits are equally important for the male as well.  The King has to be trustworthy. He has to be loving, a servant to the people, a good manager of the home, wise, worthy of respect and most importantly have fear and respect for the Lord, allowing the Lord to tell him how to lead as king and lead his family.  I hear many singles (and I admit I did this myself as a single person before growing up a little), have a list of the type of person they want to marry; however, they don’t look at themselves to see if they are the type of person someone else would want to marry. I truly believe we should be the person we want to attract. I’m not talking about having the same likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. Our differences are what make us unique. Our focus must be on the most important things which matter, which is our character and relationship with Jesus.  Also, for marrieds like myself, this doesn’t end after the ring is on the finger. It continues afterwards as well.
Dear Lord, whether we are single, engaged or married, I pray that we would be and continue to be the type of person our future and current mates would want and the type of person our friends would be refreshed to be around. I pray we would be men and women of godly character whose substance doesn’t only go as far as outward appearance, but one who is trustworthy, faithful, hard working, loving, a servant to people, a good manager of our home and finances, wise and worthy of respect. Help us Holy Spirit to live our lives in pursuit of Your fruits as we seek You first in everything we do. Amen. 
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:30-31 NIV  

Michelle Gaddi


Today as I read i am reminded of John’s original audience – Christ-followers experiencing persecution.  John continues the theme that in this world you will experience trouble but greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.  John makes it clear that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, yet these beloved three still experience the sting of death.  And Jesus’ seeming lack of action on their behalf had a greater plan to it, not just for Mary and Martha but for His disciples and the people who would witness the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead.  
As I read I wondered what would be the response of the disciples and the sisters if Jesus had not raised Lazarus from the dead?  Would they still believe in Him as the Son of God?   Would it have changed anything?  John gives a slight hint to it I think that we should consider that Jesus is still in control, powerful, loving and caring even if the circumstances of our life does not go the way we want it to go.  The Holy Spirit whispered to me as I was reading today, “Would Jesus still be Lord of your life even if life didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to?”  and today I must make that commitment again that He is trustworthy and I can depend on Him even if I find myself in the midst of suffering and pain.  It really is a win-win situation if we continue to put our trust in Him and let Him work His will according to His purposes for our life.
Sorry about the rambling but I guess the bottom line is…”Lord I trust you in spite of the circumstances I face.  I trust you even if you don’t show up on my time table or do things the way I think you should.  I believe you when you say…
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. 


John 10:3-4
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
Observation-What does it say?
Jesus is using the example of a shepherd and his sheep to explain who He is to the Pharisees. He explains the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep – the shepherd will lay down his life to protect his sheep, and the sheep recognize the sound of the their shepherd’s voice and will follow him wherever he leads.
Understanding-What does it mean?
As I read through this chapter a couple of times, what stood out to me was that the sheep recognize their master’s voice. They have spent time with him and trust him. They understand that he has their best interests at heart and they will follow where he leads. Do you have a hard time hearing God’s voice? I know I do sometimes. But I want to be able to pick out His voice from all the voices fighting for my attention. Jesus says in verse 14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” The more I strive to know Him, the better I will hear His voice. As my relationship grows, I become more in tune with Him and His leading. 
Life Application
Jesus, you promise us that as we draw near to You, You will draw near to us. Help me to remember to draw near to You daily. As I spend time in Your presence, Your voice will become more and more clear to me as I grow in relationship with You.
-Debbie Dunn

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,



-Kenneth Lee




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 26:12

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


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 5:8-12
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


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