Bible Reading Plan

Weekends: Read any passages of your choice or catch up if you’ve fallen behind 🙂

January 13: Luke 4
January 15: Matthew 10
January 16: Luke 10
January 17: Acts 1:8, Acts 2
January 18: Acts 2
January 20: Mark 16
January 21: Acts 10
January 22: Acts 8:9-40
January 23: Romans 1:1-17
January 24: Romans 8
January 27: John 4:46-54
January 28: Acts 5:12-16
January 29: Acts 14
January 30: Acts 3
January 31: Ephesians 6:10-18
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!



Psalm 112:1 NIV

“Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.”

Observation-What does it say?
This Psalm describes the blessings of those who follow God’s commands.

-Children will be Mighty in the land.

-Generation will be blessed.

-Wealth and riches are in their houses.

-They are generous and lend freely. 

-They are never shaken.

-They will be remembered forever.

-They do not fear bad news.

-Their hearts are steadfast because they trust in the Lord.

-Hearts are secure and they have no fear.

-They freely give gifts to the poor.
Understanding-What does it mean?

Those who follow God’s commands not only gain His blessings, but are a blessing to others as well.

As I looked over the list I generated from this Psalm, I noticed that it did not only describe a person’s blessings from the Lord (as a result of following and submitting to Him), but also how those blessings have transformed those around them. I have re-listed those blessings, but with “personal” and “others” next to it. 

-Children will be Mighty in the land (transforms kids-others).

-Generation will be blessed (transforms next generation-others). 

-Wealth and riches are in their houses (personal blessings). 

-They are generous and lend freely (others).

-They are never shaken (personal). 

-They will be remembered forever (personal). 

-They do not fear bad news (personal). 

-Hearts are steadfast because they trust in the Lord (personal). 

-Hearts are secure and they have no fear (personal). 

-They freely give gifts to the poor (others).


Life Application

To be a blessing to others starts with putting God FIRST in our lives. 

The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with our whole being and love our neighbor as ourselves. The law can be summed up by those 2 commands, according to Scripture. (See Matthew 22:36-40).

We reap what we sow and others reap what we sow too. Just like how the consequences of sin never only affects the individual negatively, but also others, the consequences or outcome of putting God first and living a righteous and pure life also affects others, but in a blessed type of way. 

Therefore, let us seek to put Christ first in everything we do so that we will be blessed AND be a blessing to others also!


-Michelle Gaddi

Mark 5



Mark 5:19-20 

Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.


Observation – What does it say?

After healing the demon possessed man, Jesus didn’t allow the man to come with him. Rather, he told him to go home to his people and tell them what God did for him. The man proceeded to not only go to his home town but to the Decapolis, meaning 10 cities, telling people what God had done.


Understanding – What does it mean?

Jesus didn’t bring the man with him because he had a purpose for that man’s life, to share his testimony with others. We may wonder why we don’t just go to Heaven the moment we put our faith in Jesus. The reason we are still here, with breath in our lungs, is because God has a purpose for us! We are here to share our story of all God has done for us and how he has had mercy on us.


Life Application

I want to be like this man! He was so overcome with what God had done for him he couldn’t keep silent! He went from city to city telling people all about it. And as a result, the people were amazed.

God, remind us today of all you’ve done for us. And may we joyfully and passionately share with others all about it. Give us opportunity, even today, to share with someone. Amen.


– Levi Thompson

Mark 4


Merry Christmas church family!


Mark‬ ‭4:38‬ ‭

“Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

Observation-What does it say?
Jesus and his disciples just finished a long day of ministry . It was evening time, so Jesus and his disciples got in a boat, and began to cross to the other side of the lake. While they began to cross the lake, a fierce storm came. High waves were breaking into the boat, and began to fill it with water. The disciples began to panic. They rushed to get Jesus for help. They found Jesus sleeping at that back of the boat in the midst of this storm. So the disciples woke Jesus up, and shouted, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are going to drown?”
Understanding-What does it mean?
Is there anyone else you would rather have in the boat with you during a storm?
Jesus’ disciples have witnessed first hand some of the amazing things Jesus had done. From casting out demon possessed people, to healing all sorts of people with various sicknesses and diseases. Jesus performed miracles! Why were His disciples panicking and so frantic on the boat as the storm hit? Did they suddenly forget who was on the boat with them?
Life Application
Seek Jesus first when life’s storms hit you.
We can poke fun and laugh at the disciples all we want about their lack of faith, but if we were to look at our own lives, aren’t we the same way sometimes? I know I am. I know Jesus has gotten me through so many things in life. From my struggles while in the Marines, to my bout with Bells Palsy, through my financial debt, to the healings of not only my physical ailments, but my family’s as well. Jesus continuously comes through! Yet, when the next “storm” in my life arrives, there I go again, worrying, panicking, and forgetting who is on the boat with me. It’s quite silly when I think about it. It’s like I have short term memory or something! It’s almost as if the enemy wants me to forget all those miracles Jesus did for me so that I would rely on other avenues to deal with it. Just one problem though…not one of those avenues lead to Jesus! And why should I try these other avenues in life to help me through these storms?..When I have Jesus in my life! He is the One who has always been faithful to me. It would be foolish of me to go any other way. Why try to fight these “storms” in life on my own, or with anything else?..Especially when I have the God of the universe on the boat with me, who has the power to do ALL things!
“When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”-Mark‬ ‭4:39-41‬
-Moses Gaddi

Mark 3

Happy Christmas Eve! Just a reminder that we will be having 2 services this evening at 3:30p and 4:30p. They are only 45 minutes long. Come out and invite your friends and family to join you!
Mark 3:30-35
30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Observation– What does it say?
Jesus had just appointed his 12 disciples and entered a house where a crowd had gathered. During this time, he was accused by His natural family for being out of His mind (vs. 21) and accused by the teachers in the law for being possessed by the devil and drawing His power from an evil spirit. Jesus put them in their place and then pointed out who His true brothers and sisters were..they were the ones who did the will of God.
Understanding-What does it mean?
Jesus works in community.
Jesus’ community weren’t His natural family or the religious leaders of the time. His community were His 12 disciples and those who followed Him and listened to His teachings. His family and the church leaders of the time were actually the ones opposing Him!
Life Application
Love your brothers and sisters in the Lord and stay connected to the Body of Christ, especially to those who live Spirit filled lives.
Pastor Gary always says that a Christian without a Church family is a Contradiction. I also posted last week about the importance of putting God first on the throne of our lives because He is the One who makes us and the Body function in a healthy way. Here is what God’s Word says about loving the church (aka our brothers and sisters in Christ).
His Word says in 1 John 4:19-21, “We love because He first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
The church (we, the bride) are not perfect, but Jesus is! We must stay connected together and forgive, reconcile differences and not give up meeting together. We need each other as much as we need Him. Jesus functioned in community when He was on earth because He chose 12 disciples. He continues to function in community through the Trinity. Let’s follow His example! 
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬ ‭
See you tonight for Christmas Eve service!
-Michelle Gaddi

Mark 2


Mark 2:4-5:

Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Observation-What does it say?

Their faith made them do everything possible to see Jesus. When they couldn’t get to Jesus, they didn’t give up. They made a way to see him by making an opening in the roof.

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)
Understanding-What does it mean?

Jesus wants to be found by us.

Because of the men’s persistence in bringing the paralyzed man to Jesus, Jesus healed his paralysis and forgave him of his sins.

We are commanded to seek FIRST the Kingdom; to ask, seek and knock and we will find Him if we seek Him with all of our heart.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew‬ ‭7:7-8‬)

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

“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).

The story of the persistent widow and the unjust judge is another example of how God honors our persistence in our pursuit of Him and because He’s a good Father, He will act and respond. (see Luke 18:1-8) The Lord wants to be found by us because He loves us.
Life Application

Seek God because He sought you first.

When we feel like Jesus’ presence is far away or feel like He is not listening to us, we need to be willing to knock down walls and dig holes in roofs in pursuit of Him. When we feel far away from Jesus, it is not because of Him, but because of us.

Don’t give up praying, seeking, or knocking. We will find Him if we don’t give up.

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

Also, just like in Luke 15 with the story of the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son, His love for us is relentless. He sought us first, so we must continue seeking Him in response to that love.

Dear Lord, thank You for seeking us out first and pursuing us with a relentless love. Because of that love, You desire to be found by us. May we continually seek You in faith when we feel You are far away. Your Word says You never leave or forsake us, so we know that it is us who need to draw closer to You when dry times like that happen. We need You and can’t live without your love and grace towards us. Thank You for every breath we take which is evidence of Your grace and existence. Amen.

Reckless Love Song
Reckless Love (Official Lyric Video) – Cory Asbury | Reckless Love

-Michelle Gaddi

Mark 1

Scripture:Mark 1:35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.

Observation-What does it say?  Mark, unlike the other synoptic gospels, jumps right into Jesus’ ministry, without any prelude of his birth or early life.  Throughout the first chapter, We see some profound beginnings of this ministry, including Jesus spending forty days in the wilderness, the first disciples being called, miracles of healing and demons being cast out.   News spread of the healings, and people came from all over the region to meet Jesus and be healed. Amidst all the hysteria, Jesus stole away to have time alone praying with His Father.  

Understanding-What does it mean?  I have a tendency to try to do it all myself.  Whether that be plumbing, gardening, or schoolwork.  I have issues with trusting people, so instead of allowing people to help, I pile up my plate with more and more projects and responsibilities.  I’m even like this with my feelings. When I am stressed or feeling alone, I hold it inside and try to conjure up the strength or energy to finish my jobs.  Then, after lengths of time of trying to hold my life together, I find myself tired and disconnected from God.    

Inevitably, the end of the year and the Christmas season get increasingly busy.  With all the shopping, the office parties, the block parties, the family parties, and…Christmas.  I used to find myself resenting this season because I would feel run down. I would feel weighed down by all the expectations of what Christmas is all about.  I’ve learned how to look passed the craziness to find moments to enjoy. Whether that be while preparing a traditional family casserole, or sitting by the fire with family, I embrace the moment and remember the good times.  But without these things to keep me centered, Christmas would be just another day.

Jesus, though, was demonstrating a different way of dealing with the stress of life.  Right when he was the busiest, he reached out to what would center Him. He demonstrates the fact that God is supposed to be the thing that centers us in this life.  Jesus was modeling what was written in the old testament. Psalm 46:10 says, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  In doing this, our perspective changes to the lense of God, and our problems don’t seem as big.

Life Application:  Jesus, help me to find my center in You.  When the noise of the world creeps in on me, teach me to say “It is well with my soul.”  
-Tyler Galloway

Matthew _28


Matthew 28:8-10


8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”



    Jesus had been crucified and laid to rest in a tomb with a stone rolled in front. There were guards stationed in front of the tomb to ensure that the body was not removed. But… God had other plans 🙂




Matt. 28:5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.


Hear. Hear the good news, there is a savior that conquers death and redeems us from our sin. The women heard what the angel said to them, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” (Matthew 16:21,Mark 9:31). 


Matt. 28:7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will SEE him.’ Now I have told you.” 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 


See. Let your eyes be open to SEE Him! They had an encounter with Him. They experienced him for themselves. They knew he was real. 


Matt. 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. GO and TELL my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”


Speak. GO and TELL the good news! Jesus is alive and because of him we are transformed! Do not be afraid to share with others what God has done for you. He saved you from the eternal grave, he calmed your anxiety, he saved your marriage, he healed your body, he protects your children, he provides for you! 


And they too will have an encounter with Jesus! 




Hear. See. Speak. 


As Christmas is approaching we are reminded of the good news . 


Mankind heard on the first Christmas, 

“Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord!” Luke 2:11


They saw Him lying in a manger.

“And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12


Then they told of the Messiah who was born to take away the sins of the world. 

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had

  been told them about this child,” Luke 2:17


As we celebrate this season, let’s take the opportunity to hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit to tell our family, friends, or neighbors about the Jesus we see in our lives everyday. 


I implore you to encourage them to meet Jesus. Invite them to our Christmas Eve Celebration. Let them hear the beautiful story of the greatest Christmas gift, God’s love. 

Deborah Lee



Matthew 27:37

Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.


What will be written on your wooden sign?

I don’t know why, but as I read the chapter this verse really struck me. It struck me for several reasons. One, Jesus had no clear charge against Him except “King of the Jews,” which served more as a term of mockery in this case. Two, reading this verse today revealed the sheer gravity of what Jesus did for us. On Sunday Pastor Gary talked about how Jesus became less for us. He sought us out by stooping to our level, He saw us fit for redemption. So, in His perfect love He was willing to die on the cross for our sins. It’s nice to hear, but when you stop and think about it, you may find that this perfect love is unmatched.

What hit me the hardest was the sign. It said: “THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS,” when in reality it should have said THIS IS JESUS, HEIR TO THE THRONE/PRINCE OF THE WORLD.” I get that they were trying to keep the sign short and sweet, but they got it all wrong. If they thought that one tiny piece of the world was all Jesus was fit for then they really underestimated the maker of the universe. They really underestimated Jesus’ Father. Because “King of the Jews” really is not a fitting title whatsoever.

So here’s my point: what will be written on your sign? If your life was to be represented in a little wooden sign placed above your head, what would it say? Now hopefully you and I won’t be crucified like our main man Jesus, but I think the concept is one to think about. Don’t think about what you want written on your tombstone. You to some degree have a say in that, your loved ones get to write it for you. What do you want written on your wooden crucifixion sign? Because news flash: that’s written by the people who despise you. So if “King of the Jews” was the worst they could do… then they really need to sort out their priorities, and you and I should really start thinking about how we treat those who don’t necessarily like us.

Life Application

Here I am, a child of God. 

Today the story ended on a sad point, but don’t worry it’s not the end. I know that during Christmas we focus on Jesus’ life, but without His death and sacrifice there would be nothing to celebrate at all. So here’s to our forever “king of the Jews.” Here’s to our own little crucifixion sign. Here’s to being a loved work in progress. Here we are God, use us for Your Glory.

Heavenly Father,

Use us, mold us, and help us to live like You. May we be challenged to love everyone, including those who may not love us. Thank You for deeming us worth it, thank You for dying to save us. May we be recognizable as Your children


-Allison Khan


Matthew 26:33-35 and 41
33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same….41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
OBSERVATION-What does it say?
Jesus had just finished having his last dinner (supper) with His disciples and introduced the first communion. He also brought to light Judas’ future betrayal and Peter’s denial of Him. Peter profusely refused that he would ever disown Jesus. All the other disciples said the same thing (vs. 35). Jesus then asked them later to go to Gethsemane with Him and stay alert and awake in prayer so that they don’t fall into temptation. Although it was part of God’s bigger plan, they still fell into it.
UNDERSTANDING-What does it mean? 
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (verse 41).”
Jesus was tempted to leave the cup of death behind as evidenced in the couple of times He asked God to take the cup from Him; but because of prayer, He knew that He had to do God’s will instead of His own. Prayer gave Him the strength to move ahead with God’s will instead of leaving it behind.
If Jesus was tempted in this way, He knew His disciples would be struggling with the same thing, especially due to their overconfidence and pride that they would NEVER deny Him. He invited them to prayer with Him, but instead, they fell asleep and gave into the temptation of disowning Jesus, instead of overcoming it!
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Prayer keeps us humble.
Our faith is dependent on Him and His Spirit alone, not our own strength. Overconfidence, pride and being “sleepy/lazy” with our personal communication with Him is usually what’s at the root of rebellion.
Being raised in the church world and attending since I was in the womb, I can tell you that the reason why we need Jesus as the Head of the body is because the bride is not perfect. We even hear of stories of ministry leaders and people we trust have moral failures. Some of us can attest to our own. For those who know my 2nd testimony, I will be the first to personally admit that. 100% of the time, overconfidence and pride is at the root of the rebellion.
We need Jesus, His Word, prayer and worship EVERYDAY, not just on Sunday or on our Sabbath rest day. We can’t just rely on the label of “Christian” or rely on church leaders to protect us. Our everyday relationship and having Him as Lord (aka giving Him the right to tell us what to do as Pastor says), is what will keep us standing firm in the faith. We have to stay alert and can’t get sleepy with it. The principalities and powers in the spiritual realm are the devil’s A-team, but they don’t stand a chance against our Mighty Warrior Jesus!  We must stay connected and plugged in to the Vine! We cannot do anything apart from Him (John 15:5).
“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.” -My favorite part of the hymn “Come Thou Fount” that can be read as a personal prayer too.
-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm 103:13-17

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—


The below is taken from the Enduring Word Bible Commentary:

This psalm is simply titled A Psalm of David. We don’t know the circumstances in which it was written, but since David was a man who knew the grace and deliverance of God many times, it could have been written at many different times of his life.

  1. The Lord pities those who fear Him: David continues to describe the abounding mercy and goodness of God. The way that a good father cares for and even [has compassion for] his childrenin their frailty and weakness, so the Lord [has compassion for] those who fear Him.

  1. For He knows [how we are formed]: The pity and compassion of God towards those who fear Him are rooted in His knowledge and understanding of our inherent weakness and impermanence, our transience.

  1. As for man, his days are like grass: David expanded the thought of man’s weak frame and dust-like nature. Humanity is so transient that his days are like grassand like a flower of the field that blooms one day and withers the next. When the flower is gone, virtually nothing remains – its place remembers it no more.

  1. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting: This is true of God’s mercy and of God Himself, the source of mercy. His hesed – covenant love, loyal kindness – endures from all ages to all ages. Those who fear Himreceive the benefit of this everlasting mercy, as do their children’s children.


I read things a little different than the commentary I shared from above.

First, I’m struck by the fact that God has such compassion for us, even that He calls us His children when our lifespans are just passing wisps in the line of eternity.  I loved how the commentary calls out the scriptures focus on our transience versus God’s permanence.  Like Pastor Gary shared yesterday…given all that, why would He make the choice He did to step away from His throne and become man to endure death on the cross?

Because of His love – His deep, wide, incredible love for us.  To bring it back to the scripture, I “love” seeing green grass and fields of flowers, but not once have I thought to take the place as a blade of grass or one of those flowers amidst the many on a hillside.  I don’t give a second thought to their permanence or transience; I just enjoy them while they are here.  But that’s not what God’s love looks like; His is a love that knows us inside and out, know how and why and where we were formed, knows the number of hairs on our heads.  A bit overwhelming isn’t it?  In the best way of course, but overwhelming just the same. 

Life Application

So what do we do with that love?

We are called to soak it up and pour it out!  Return often to the well, draw close to Him so we can experience Him drawing close to us…but then go and pour it out in crazy, generous, refreshing ways to everyone we meet. 

God, as I sit here overwhelmed by your love my heart is beyond full.  There’s a stillness, a peace a joy that comes with knowing I am loved just as I am…in all my imperfection, in all my transience, in all my failure to be all you’ve called me to be.  While I love that feeling of knowing that I’m “perfectly and wonderfully made” in your eyes, let that not be where it starts.  May I be used to let people know that they are seen and known and loved by you.  May I be intentional in my interactions as I go throughout this day, this week, this season.  Soften my heart to your voice, to your tugging…that I may share your love in personal ways that only you can facilitate.  And may hearts be turned to you as a result. 

In your name I pray, Amen.


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