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!

2 Chronicles 7

Scripture  2 Chronicles 7:4-5 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

Observation-What does it say? After the nation of Israel worked to build the temple, and to fill it with all the different articles, including the altar, golden bowls, spoons etc., they brought forth an offering.  A sacrifice offering that totaled approximately 26,000,000 pounds of oxen and 18,000,000 pounds of sheep.  But before the sacrifice was accepted, Solomon prayed.  Solomon pleaded with God that he would hear the nation of Israel when they cried out to him.  God, in return revealed Himself to Israel in the form of fire.   

Understanding-What does it mean?  Dodger stadium, which is the largest stadium in the major league, holds 56,000 fans.  As I was reading this passage, I got this picture of piling the field at Dodger stadium full of sheep and cows.  After all of the field, and probably most of the field level seats, the left and right field pavilion, plus some of lodge level were filled three and four animals deep, we started a prayer service somewhere in China town.  As P.E.T.A begins their protest for the unethical treatment of the animals, God sends His fire down on Dodger stadium and consumes the whole place.  Not only would the fire be visible for almost one hundred miles, but the heat would be felt from quite a distance as well.  It sort of brings a whole new meaning to the God being a consuming fire.  

I am guilty of not realizing the power of prayer in my life.  Multiple times through scripture, we are warned not to turn away from God because he is a consuming fire.  Deuteronomy 4:23-24 tells us to not “forget the covenant of the Lord your God” because He is a jealous God.  In Hebrews 12:28-29, the author tells us, “we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God” because He is a consuming fire.  We are both warned of His power to destroy us, and to lift us up using the same phrase.  In my opinion, I would rather see the fruits of kneeling before him and the result of turning away. 

Life Application  Jesus, help me to kneel before you everyday.  Let me know the joy of not only bringing my requests before you, but also of hearing you speak.  Help me to be part of the generation that sees your fire in glory, and not in rage.  Help me to take joy in the discipline of coming before you.  

-Tyler Galloway

1 Timothy_3


1 Timothy 3:2-7  2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife,temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.


The Apostle Paul continued in his letter to Timothy about the qualifications of a person being admitted to the office of a bishop or deacon. 


Shouldn’t we all live in a way that we too could be an overseer?

Above reproach 

Faithful to our spouse 






Not given to drunkenness

Not violent but gentle

Not quarrelsome

Not a lover of money

Manage our family well 

(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

Growing in our relationship with God 

Good reputation 


Matthew 16:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Father, you have called all of us who have been saved, to go and make disciples, to oversee those who want to follow you. Father, empower me with your Holy Spirit to live in a way that is leading people towards you, starting with my family. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Deborah Lee 

Psalm 11

Psalms ‭11:1-7‬ ‭NLT
“I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, “Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?” But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.”
Observation-What does it say?
In this psalm of David, David reiterates Who he finds refuge in (The Lord Almighty). As chaos and disorder begin to surround David, his counselors urge him to flee. But David stands firm. David knows that God is his protector, and that God is in control. David knows that he serves a God of truth and justice…and despises those who love evil. David understands the wrath of fire and brimstone that awaits the wicked. So David remains steadfast in his faith. David will fight his battles with the Lord God Almighty leading the way.
Understanding-What does it mean?
God is in control.
You ever hear people ask the question, “How can God let this bad stuff happen in the world?!” It’s a question I have heard quite a bit now. With all the tragedies surrounding us, (most recently in Texas and Ohio), it’s a question that one can hear daily. It is even a question we as Christians can find ourselves asking. My response to that question would be “It’s because of a lack of God’s presence in this world is why these bad things are happening.” We as people have managed to kick God out of our schools, workplaces, and governments. We as a people are now so offended when someone brings up God in a conversation, or we see someone praying in a lunch table, or even walking with a Bible in their hand! We as a people have managed to think that we know better than God!..that we can manage this world ourselves! Now where did that leave us?! Just turn on your local news. I’m sure it won’t take long for us to see.
But there is good news. God is STILL in control. Even with all the evil in this world, God is in control. He is at the throne of Heaven, observing our every action, hearing our every thought and prayer. God is waiting on us. Are we as a nation ready to turn back to Him? Are we as Christ Followers ready to stand in the gap, and pray on behalf of this nation? I encourage you to trust God (the way David did). See what God can do through all of this. We serve a God of order and justice. Let Him lead our way!
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”-2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭
Life Application
Pray for our nation and its leaders.
Father God, I pray for our nation today. I pray for our leaders. I pray that You may instill them with wisdom on how to lead the people in a way that pleases You. Forgive us God for thinking we know what’s better for us. Forgive us Lord for turning our backs on You. Lord God Almighty, You are in control. Help us trust in You and Your ways once again. Heal our nation Lord. Restore this nation to make us whole again. Make us one nation, under God, (under Your reign and protection Lord). We give You all the glory, all the honor and all the praise Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
-Moses Gaddi

1 Timothy__1

Scripture 1 Timothy 1:3-7  3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

Observation-What does it say?
Paul wrote this letter to his protege/disciplee, Timothy.  Timothy was a young Pastor and this is the first letter Paul wrote to him. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Be on guard towards false doctrines.
Paul “urges Timothy to be on guard for false teachers and false doctrine (” He also urges him of his call to stay in Ephesus in order to oppose false teachers, as many were teaching false doctrines. Paul didn’t want Timothy to fall into that trap with his own ministry. 
Life Application
Stay connected to Truth through God’s Word. 
With everything we read, listen to, people tell us, we “hear from God” etc., we need to make sure it lines up with what God says in His Word. We should also have it confirmed by a trusted Spirit filled person/leader(s). The reason why we need to bounce it off another Spirit filled person or people is because the enemy is also well versed in Scripture, yet he is the master of deception and lies. He knows how to twist God’s Word out of context. The temptation of Jesus is proof of that. Because Jesus was so immersed in the Scriptures daily,  the enemy couldn’t get a foothold in his life.  I pray that we as Believers would be the same way. Dear Lord, I pray that we would meditate on your word day and night, as David did in the Psalms and be so well versed in Your Word and so connected to You, our vine, that the enemy cannot have a foothold in our life. I pray that we would fill our minds with Your Truth daily. Amen.
-Michelle Gaddi

Psalm 9

Psalm 9:9-12 (ETRV) 9 Many people are suffering- crushed by the weight of their troubles. But the LORD is a refuge for them, a safe place they can run to. 10 LORD, those who know your name come to you for protection. And when they come, you do not leave them without help. 11 Sing praises to the LORD, who sits as King in Zion. Tell the nations about the great things he has done. 12 He punishes murderers and remembers those who are in need. When suffering people cry for help, he does not ignore them.
I am always shocked when there is a mass killing anywhere in the world, but even more so in America it seems to be picking up momentum.  The latest one in El Paso has left me feeling even more vulnerable than ever because I am struck by how many of us go to Walmart all the time, never expecting that someone would open fire on us.  I read this Psalm this morning and I felt that God spoke it to my heart – God is a refuge, when we His people call to Him he does not leave us without help – He does not ignore us.  
Will you call out to God on behalf of our nation.  Come to Him and pray protection over America and this world.  David reminds us that God will hear and do something about it.  
Pastor Gary

2 Chronicles 2

2 Chronicles 2:6
But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him?

Observation-What does it say?  The book of 2 Chronicles was written covering the same time period of 1 & 2 Kings. While the books paralleled each other, they differ in focus of the message. Where Kings focuses on the failings of men and morality, 2 Chronicles is more concerned with God’s faithfulness and redemption. Near the end of chapter two, we see that the aliens in the land of Israel were summoned to assist in building the temple. This further displays the redemptive heart of God, bringing all people, no matter their heritage, into His household and under His name. The theme of redemption is carried into the new testament. “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”(1 Peter 2:4-5) Everyone who comes to Jesus is being fitted together as one unit, working as a small piece of God’s bigger will and story.

Understanding-What does it mean?Being involved in sports was a big deal in my household. My dad had been a star football player, and there was an unspoken expectation that my brother and I would continue the legacy. While I definitely enjoyed playing different sports growing up, I never really felt as though I belonged. I was athletic as a kid, but didn’t quite fit the mold of the “athletes.” I was a little goofy and had a hard time paying attention. I never really felt accepted. As I entered high school, I knew I wanted to be a part of a team, but not associated to the kids that had made me feel isolated elsewhere. When I showed up to the first day of summer cross country training, I found a group of misfits that all accepted me for who I was. If nothing else, I would have stuck with the team because I liked the way they treated me. God accepts us in an even more elaborate way. His love covers all of our sin, not just the little ones. He has called us out of our sin and redeemed us as sons. “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”(Galatians 4:4-7) With Jesus, it doesn’t matter where we came from, who our parents are, or even that we like acid wash jeans. He still loves us and wants us to be apart of His family.

Life Application 
Jesus, help me to treat others in a way that shows they are accepted into God’s family. No matter what our differences are, it is universally true that we need Jesus’blood to cover our sins. I know that I am just as broken as those around me, and I want to help them run the race that is set before us.
-Tyler Galloway

2 Chronicles 1


2 Chronicles  1:11-12

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”


Solomon was now seated on the throne of his father King David and had taken the role of King. His father had passed away and he inherited a great number of people. He had listened to his father’s instructions. God was pleased with Solomon and told him he could ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon felt the weight of responsibility and asked the Lord for wisdom. 


Gratitude and humility are always the correct response. 

First, Solomon responded to God with gratitude.

2 Chronicles 1:8 Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 

Second, with humility. 

2 Chronicles 9 Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

Solomon may have been around 20 years old when he took the throne. He was young and maybe it was obvious that he told God he was a child but it’s so much more common to see an arrogant 20 something that knows everything instead of being filled with humility. I definitely was! There was clearly a difference with him. Solomon’s brothers tried to just take the throne. They never asked their father or waited to be anointed by the prophet, they thought they should be king and took it. 

God was so pleased with Solomon’s request as we read in 2 Chronicles 1:11 that he not only answered his request but gave him more than he could have imagined.

God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”


Gratitude and humility are always the correct response. 

I’m so grateful that he made a way for us to enter into his kingdom and bless us with all that we have no matter how big or small.

Recognize the responsibility of the task that God gives to us. 

Matthew 22:36-40   36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Father show me how to love you the way you deserve to be loved. Holy Spirit empower me to love my neighbor, especially the ones that make it so difficult! 

Oh the weight of the responsibility to LOVE God, our neighbors, and ourselves! This is just one example on how to apply this to our lives but the truth is that there is the weight of the responsibility to parent or to be a spouse according to God’s standards and commands. How about an employer or an employee? The list could go on.

Pride corrupts our true condition,we are mere humans in desperate need of God! 

Instead let’s put on humility. We don’t and can’t possibly know everything. Let’s remain teachable remembering that God is making us into the image of his Son. 

Seeking the kingdom of heaven and all His righteousness pleases the heart of God…that should always be our goal!
Deborah Lee


John 18:37
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of the truth listens to me.”
After being betrayed, arrested, and denied, Jesus faces Pilate who questions Him as to who Jesus is and why He has been brought before him. Even though Jesus faces a certain death if He is not released, He still answers Pilate’s questions with grace and humility. In the end however Jesus is not released and must face crucifixion. While speaking to Pilate, Jesus poses a very important principle.
Even though this has nothing to do with the verse or the context of the story, I have always despised Pilate. Even as a kid, I thought that he was the actual worst person ever, not because he technically did his job, but that he still handed Jesus over knowing He did nothing wrong. Anyway, tangent over.
Jesus could so easily look at Pilate and say “I’m totally royalty, and you know what I’m not gonna take this from you” and then magically ascended into heaven. Instead, He responds to Pilate’s questions without losing His patience. He has a full understanding that His life’s work is coming to a close and He is about to fulfill everything that was said about Him. However, Jesus leaves a challenge to us that I feel could have so easily been missed and that entails testifying the truth. After reading this passage I couldn’t help but to wonder “Am I on the side of truth?”
Sure, Jesus uses the word truth loosely here, but He explicitly says that anyone who is on the side of truth listens to Him. “Being on the side of truth” simply means you lay down your own comforts for the cause of Christ. It means that instead of denying the Father because you with to say warm and comfortable by a fire (Peter in this chapter), you proudly proclaim the good news and act as His witness. It means when God commands, you obey… NO MATTER THE COST. That’s what Jesus did. He gave His life for the sake of truth, He died so that we could not only live but testify and listen to what He tells us to do. I understand it’s hard and sometimes uncomfortable, but I don’t think hanging on the cross was easy or by any means comfortable, yet Jesus still did it. The least I can do is obey when He asks something of me without second-guessing or telling myself that I’m just imagining things.
Life Application
Be on the side of truth!
God, I ask that you fill me and others with boldness to speak your truth. May we not hesitate in the face of adversity of being stretched out of our comfort zones but instead rise to the occasion. May we mirror Your humility and grace in the face of other’s uncertainty, but may we above all learn to love others the way You love them.
-Allison Khan

1 Chronicles 28

Scripture  1 Chronicles 28:20-21  20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. 21 The divisions of the priests and Levites are ready for all the work on the temple of God, and every willing person skilled in any craft will help you in all the work. The officials and all the people will obey your every command.”

Observation-What does it say? 
King David summoned all of Israel and explained that he had planned to build a Temple for the Lord. However, God told him that he had done enough work already, is getting up there in age and has shed so much blood for the cause of the Lord. Instead, the Temple will be built through the leadership of his son, King Solomon.  King David knew his son would be too young and inexperienced for the task, so he made sure everything was planned out and prepared for him before he handed off the task to him. (‘“David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death.”’ -1 Chronicles 22:5)  I encourage you all to read 1 Chronicles 22 again, which is 6 chapters back, because God had already told King David that Solomon would do the job and David started prepping his son in that chapter.  He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’” 1 Chronicles 22:10 NIV

Understanding-What does it mean? God anoints and gives the directions, but it is our responsibility to work and plan to make sure it is completed successfully.  I love this chapter! It shows King David’s love for the Lord and his love and dedication to mentor his son for a big project that God had chosen Solomon to do instead. King David made sure everything was in place before He released his son to the task that the Lord had called him to. He did 4 things for his son before he handed off the job:

  1. King David informed the officials, officers, commanders and warriors of Israel what God had told him regarding the building of the temple and that his son, Solomon would be overseeing the project, not him, per God’s direction. The purpose of this was so that the people would give his son the same respect and submission that they’ve given King David. (Verses 1-4)
  2. King David encouraged the people to continue to follow God’s commands so that He would bless them and their descendants. (Verse 8)
  3. He passed on the plans he had been working on, to his son. (Verses 11-19)
  4. He gave encouragement to his son. He told him to do the work, be strong, be courageous, not to be afraid or discouraged, that God will not fail him or forsake him until the work is finished, and encouraged him that all his help is in place and they are ready to obey his every command. (Verses 20-21)

Life Application

Pray and ask the Lord who He would want you to take under your wing to train and disciple so that the work of God would continue successfully.

I recently finished a good leadership book called “Becoming a person of influence” by Pastor John C Maxwell and Jim Dornan. They said that the mark of a great leader is how they are able to empower others. “When you empower people, you’re not influencing just them; you’re influencing all the people they influence.”

God’s Word shows this in action in King David’s life. He was not only influential as King over Israel and empowered them to put God first, but also influential in empowering His son to take over God’s plans for the Temple.

Dear Lord, You have called us all to be leaders (aka influencers), whether we are leaders in our home, church or workplaces. You have also called us all to be ministers of Your Gospel message. If we are saved, we are already a couple steps ahead of someone who doesn’t KNOW You.  I pray that we would embrace our calling as influencers for Your Kingdom and live it out fully in our daily lives. Also, just like David encouraged his son, may we be strong and courageous, and do the work. May we not be afraid or discouraged knowing that You are with us and that You won’t fail or forsake us until the work is completed. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi



John 16:1, 33

1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Observation-What does it say?                                      

John 16 continues Jesus’ farewell sermon to the disciples. He warns them of the troubles to come, what they can expect in His absence; but He also provides hope – letting them know “the Advocate” will come in His place, He would visit them again at His resurrection, that He will provide peace, that He is returning to his Father and, finally, that despite worldly troubles, they will have peace for He has overcome the world.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Beginnings and endings are powerful things. 

In this farewell discourse, Jesus begins and ends with hope and intention and encouragement.  He shares openly about what will come so His disciples will not be surprised, caught off guard and, ultimately, so “that [they] will not fall away.”  I think this shows God’s heart and consistency with us as His children.  Though we may go through ups and downs, He desires that we stay the course.

And then, as He ends His farewell, He reminds us again “you will have trouble;” but, along with those expected troubles, we are reminded of His strength, His peace and His victory.

Life Application

Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Son.  Thank you setting fair and honest expectations of our walk as Christ-followers…that, yes, there will be trouble.  But, in that trouble, we are never alone, never forsaken.  Thank you for encouraging us, for sending your Holy Spirit to us, for allowing us to feel your presence…that we may know your peace, we may experience your victory.  And, most of all, thank you for the cross that makes all of these things possible.

May we live victoriously, live peacefully, live honestly…in a way that refreshes the spirits of those around us.  Use us!  Give us opportunities to share your love and your Word with those around us today…so that many more may come to know your peace and victory! 

In your name, I pray.  Amen.

– Rei