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_100

Scripture

Psalm 100:5 (NIV)
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Observation

Short and simple. Five verses…but, those 5 verses lived out, create a lifestyle of worship, joy, gratitude, confidence (in who we are – His).

Understanding

The last verse struck me something extra special this morning.

Just a reminder that we serve a powerful and unchanging God.  The same God we read about that split the sea, that released His people through bringing 10 plagues on a nation, that created the Earth, that allowed Abraham and Sarah to conceive welllllll into their years, that caused actual food to rain down from heaven (manna), that spit Jonah out of a whale and on to dry land, that kept Daniel safe in a den full of hungry lions, that caused a virgin to conceive, that turned water into wine, that turned a few fish and loaves of bread into enough to feed thousands (more than once!), that walked on water in human form…and so much more!  That same God loves us, guides us, desires us, speaks to us, empowers us and wants what is best for us.

The human form changes as time goes on, we often watch our parents become frail, forgetful and while still incredibly lovable, just not as we remember…but our Father God never changes, never weakens, never forgets, never fails.

Life Application

The knowing that God is the same yesterday, today and forever creates trust; trust that God does not change His mind, He is not fickle or moody, His love never changes, never fades, never goes away.  So, knowing that, we can trust Him fully with our hearts, with the decisions He guides us towards…knowing that He’s always at work in the details, wants His ultimate best for us and that we can fully surrender to Him and His will for our lives.  So…let’s live that out – in the big and the little decisions and actions we take daily.

God, may I remember your faithfulness today…and live in a way that shows it!  Amen.

Rei

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



Matthew__16

Scripture  Matthew 16:5-6 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.  “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Observation-What does it say?  Jesus takes a moment to warn his disciples of the teaching of those looking to change God’s word, in honor of their tradition.  During Jesus’ life, the pharisees saw religion in terms of an outward cat and ritual, the cleansing of the body.  The sadducees saw religion, were wealthy and highly political, and looked at religion as a means to increase the prosperity.  Jesus is reminding his disciples that religion is that which affects the heart, and translates into actions rooted in love.       

Understanding-What does it mean?  “You shouldn’t be eating that,” my co-worker told me, while I sat quietly eating my ham and cheese sandwich.  I was totally confused as to what he was talking about.  As I inquired, he went on to tell me that eating ham was sinful and that I shouldn’t call myself a Christian.  At this point I still wasn’t grasping what he was getting at, which made him all the more upset. He went on to berate me about going to church on Sunday instead of Saturday and a number of other things that I did, which had never dawned on me as being “sins.”  I remember feeling like my co-worker had gotten lost in some details that were really not important.   Like the pharisees and the sadducees, this person had turned something that had been intended for good and turned it into an unnecessary burden that he was trying to place on other people.

Jesus is concerned with our hearts, not whether or not we wash our hands the right way, or pray at a certain time.  He simply wants our hearts devoted to him.  We live in a world full of things competing for our attention and the devotion of our hearts.  Our miniature computers beeping at us and entertaining us at all hours of the day.  There are disciples of all different schools of thought trying to convince us to eat only meat, or only vegetables.  Even in Jesus’ time, we see a glimpse of similar things competing for the disciples hearts.  While some of these are good things, they can also distract us from what God is trying to do in us.

In Proverbs we learn of the importance of guarding our heart, because “it is the wellspring of life” (24:3).  In his letter to the Romans, Paul warns them about conforming to the ways of the world, and he challenges us to continue to renew our minds into what God wants us to become (12:2).  Peter tells us that if we stand firm in our faith, God will be faithful to restore us in him (1 Peter 5:6-10).

Life Application  Jesus help me to find You before anything else.  Help me not to waiver in my faith.  Help me to guard my heart, so that I may not lead others astray over “religious” issues.  Help me to lay down my desires to you everyday.  

-Tyler Galloway



2 Samuel_12

Scripture
 
2 Samuel 12:20
 
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
 
Observation
 
David has just committed a horrible sin against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband. Nathan, the prophet, confronts David and reveals that the Lord is so hurt by what he did. David, a man after God’s own heart, has done a terrible thing and now brings consequences against his whole family for years to come.
 
Understanding
 
Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
 
Here is David, a man slaying giants and leading armies. At one point he had Saul in his perfect view to kill him, instead. David would not touch God’s anointed. God gave him more than he could have dreamed and would have given even more had he asked. He spoke of Davids future for his family promising to establish his throne and build a temple with his son.
 
After all we read about him I seriously thought…this guy is it! He has got this God thing down. He does so many things right, he has amazing faith, he wrote all these Psalms, of course God chose his line to send his Son to us!
 
2 Samuel 12:9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.
 
David!!!! Noooooo! Heartbreaking.
 
Then God speaks through Nathan and issues a judgement on David and his family. Then he pays the price for his sin, the loss of his son. David humbled himself as he always did, fasted and lied on the floor for seven days. After the consequence had been fulfilled David got up, got dressed, and ate. He had to move forward with being king.
 
Application
 
Philippians 3:13-14  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
 
I have never committed the exact sin that David did but one thing for sure… I have fallen super short of the glory of God on many occasions. Humility and gratitude will always be the right response but then we need to get up, get dressed, and move on. Sometimes we like to sit in our dirt and feel sorry for ourselves that we are such wretched losers and we stop moving.
 
God forgives us through Jesus and we need to accept it and move on. Father, thank you for loving and forgiving me even though I clearly don’t deserve it. Holy Spirit help me to live out my life as Jesus did, receive forgiveness from our Father, and empower me to move forward in the path God has paved for me. In Jesus name Amen!

Deborah Lee



Matthew__14

Scripture

Matthew 14: 19

“And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the people.”
 
Observation
 
Ironically, Jesus is seeking solitude after learning that his cousin John the Baptist is dead. There is met by people who long to just be with Him and hear Him speak and preach. Rather than turning them away He delights in their company and even feeds the “mere” five thousand people there. But before feeding them, He does one important thing: He gives thanks.
 
Understanding

In order to be effectively used by God to do His work, we must come before Him with a heart of humility and thanksgiving.

Over the many years of reading this story I always got hung up on the idea that Jesus fed five thousand people with a tiny amount of food, but this time something else stood out to me. It doesn’t just say “Jesus took the bread and the fish and miraculously gave it to everyone there” it emphasizes that Jesus gave thanks. The Son of the Most High gave thanks, even though He was God in the flesh. He didn’t thank Himself either, He humbled Himself, and looking to heaven lifted up gratitude and thanksgiving. He honors His Heavenly Father by giving Him all the glory, honor, and praise.

If I am to live a Christ-centered life, then I am to model Christ in all my actions. I constantly find myself saying: “I want to be used by God, I want to carry out His will,” yet I hype myself up when God uses me in His plan. Then I find myself once again in a “dry time” where I feel that God isn’t using me. I simply haven’t come before the Father with a heart of adoration and thanksgiving. Zechariah 4:6 sums it up perfectly:

“’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

We are not people of circumstance, nor are we people of divine power, we are a people living for a mighty God. A God who deserves all the praise imaginable. Jesus models to us how to be used by the Father. In order to truly be used, we must rid ourselves of any boast or brag. God is breaking us to promote us and place us to where we need to be, and it all begins with a heart of thanks and humility. Let’s face it, without Him we are nothing.
 
Life Application

If we are to be people of God, we must break this idea that self is at the center of everything. It’s time for a change of culture where we honor the one who created us no matter how big or small the miracle is. The miracle is the fact that we are alive and have the pleasure of living freely for the King!

-Allison Khan


2 Samuel_10

Scripture

2 Samuel 10:3

“The Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!”

Observation-What does it say?

King Nahash of the Ammonites has just died. His son Hanun has just replaced him as king. David wants to show loyalty to Hanun, just as his father was always loyal to him. So David sends ambassadors to Ammon to give the new king his condolences. But rather than take the simplicity of David’s act of compassion, Hanun takes the advice of his commanders. Hanun and his commanders believe that David has some sort of ulterior motive behind his act. They believe he sent his ambassadors to spy on them, so they can conquer them.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)

I believe Hanun was surrounded by very cynical people. People who were out to climb their own “political ladder” and who were out for their own selfish gain when they gave Hanun this advice. These men presumed the worst out of people, instead of expecting the best from God’s people.

Hanun on the other hand should have took a page out of David’s book and seeked God for counsel. Maybe if he did that and surrounded himself with Godly men’s advice, it wouldn’t have ended so badly for him and his people.

Life Application

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

Seek God in everything I do. Surround myself with Godly and righteous people. Seek counsel from these God fearing men and women that God has put in my life when life throws me for a loop.

Father God thank You for my church family. Thank You for the leadership here at DSC that shepherds me to grow in my faith. May you continue to bless these men and women for their leadership and their commitment to You. Lord, I don’t have it all together and I do need help. Help me to humbly seek You and Your people in those times of need. In Your Holy and precious name Jesus, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi



Psalm_95

Scripture

Psalm 95:10-11 (NIV)
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

Observation

Forever a favorite, David remains.

In this Chapter, he starts with praise, encouragement of others to praise (sing for joy, shout aloud, extol Him) and acknowledgement of the great and poweful God we serve. [I love his description of God – in His hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong tohim. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land (Vs 4-6). So good! <3

Then in verse 8, David speaks to who WE are in relation to God and encourages us to “hear His voice” – speaking of the consequences of a generation who didn’t.

Understanding

At least the last two weeks of PG’s Sunday messages have talked about how “disobedience brings destruction,” while “obedience brings blessings.” Not only blessings, but as was shared yesterday, blessings, cleansing, forgiveness, redemption. It is in obedience that God can make things new, whole. It is in disobedience that we experience death, or separation from God.

And here we see God’s warning of exactly that – disobedience (hearts gone astray) brought anger and they were “never [able/allowed] to enter God’s rest.”

As shared yesterday, this is serious stuff – so much so that God set the example, even at having to sacrifice His own son. He expected obedience of Abraham when He asked that he sacrifice his own son. So what does obedience look like? Simply put, it’s putting first things first. God desires, no…REQUIRES that He be first – no other gods before Him. So, what are we putting before God that may result in the withholding of blessings being poured out?

Life Application

For me, my busy seasons show how quickly I get uprooted, distracted and begin to put other things before God. I feel like this is evidence that I’m simply not deeply rooted enough. So…the application is to simply put God first – simple, but not easy…yet 100% necessary – that I may experience His peace, His rest, His blessings. He pours out His love daily and works in all the details for His good…but I miss it all when I turn my eyes from Him to whatever new and shiny thing comes my way…or whatever obstacle that attempts to block my path. When we keep our eyes up, upon the God who lifts us and carries us and makes us new, we rise above.

God, fill me up. Forgive my wandering heart and bind it to thee. As things get busy, may I stay centered in and focused on you…not just for my own peace but as an example to those around me – that, with you, there is joy, there is peace regardless of circumstances. Fill me up, overflow, permeate this soul…that I may be used by and for YOU!

 

In Your Name, I pray.

Rei

 

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



Matthew__11

Scripture:  Matthew 11:28-30   “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Observation-What does it say?  After sending the twelve apostles out on a journey to heal and teach, Jesus appears to be spending some time alone.  He went on his own, from town to town, to teach and preach.  While doing this, He is approached by a group of John the Baptist’s disciples.  On John’s behalf, they inquire of Jesus if He is the messiah.  Jesus uses the words from Isaiah (ch. 35) to tell them He is fulfilling the prophecies about Him.  

Jesus then sheds light on the wisdom of God, who reveals truth to those who don’t fit the world’s definition of wisdom and intelligence.  He then carries on to speak to the hearts of those he is calling.  “It was the ordinary folk who received Jesus – and he was glad.  To all who are worn down by burdens, he offers relief” ( Zondervan Handbook of the Bible p. 561).

Understanding-What does it mean?  One of the things I love about history is reading the stories of supposed underdogs.  Those who succeeded despite being at a “disadvantage.”  Like Albert Einstein who, after teaching himself calculus at the age of 14, was denied entrance into college because of his trouble with language.  Or George Washington who, without a traditional military education, lead the burgeoning United States to victory in the Revolutionary role.  Sometimes in life we can’t see the forest for the trees, and we miss a person’s potential for the lack of their credentials.  

If we were to compare the life of Jesus to what we think of success now, he would probably be an utter failure today.  Jesus lived at home until he was almost thirty.  He quit his job as a carpenter to be homeless.  He hung out with a group of people considered to be less desirable in his culture, men who were known to be rough, dirty, or cheats.  He acted in utter defiance to the political culture.  He hadn’t even finished any type of schooling to teach in the synagogues.  Yet he is the one who completes us and brings us to relationship with God.  

Jesus repeatedly calls those who are sick, who are broken, and who the world sees as useless.  He lets us unload the “requirements” the world tries to place on us.  His rules are few, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart,” and, “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).  He knows our deficiencies, and he is ready to make up the difference.

Life Application  Jesus, I trust in you to fill me with the love and knowledge I need to complete your works.  Like the Psalmist cries out, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17)  Even though I am lacking, Jesus I know you have prepared me for a purpose and I trust in you. 

-Tyler Galloway



2 Samuel_7

Scripture

2 Samuel 7:18

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:

“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human![c]

Observation

King David is settled in his house of cedar and he realized that God’s presence in the ark was living in a tent. Although, the prophet Nathan had told him to go ahead with his plans, God had a different idea…

Understanding

Humility and Gratitude are always the right response.

The Lord may have rejected his offer to build a house for Him but David recognized to even be this far with God was already beyond his comprehension. And then He speaks of his future house!

2 Samuel 7:12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son

Application

Humility and Gratitude are always the right response.

God may have something for us to do and he may not but choose to be grateful for all that he has done and continues to do for us in spite of our sinful nature, our past, and our present. Choosing shouldn’t even be a choice it should just be natural.

Father thank you for all that you have done for me, past, present, and future. Thank you for redeeming me and sending me your Son. Thank you for having thoughts about me and my family, and my family’s future. Thank you for all that I have big and small! Help me to remember that I am a mere human dependent on you God! In Jesus name, Amen!

Deborah Lee



Matthew_9

Scripture

Matthew 9:36-38 NLT

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.“So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Observation-What does it say?

As news grew of all the healing and miracles that Jesus was performing, so were the crowds. Jesus was casting out demons from people, healing the blind, healing the paralyzed, and raising the dead to name a few things.  Jesus was able to meet and help people from all walks of life. Yet Jesus never lost focus on his main ministry while here on earth…recruiting people to God’s Kingdom and sharing the good news with them. But as the crowds continued to grow, Jesus heart was filled with compassion for them. He saw a crowd of people who were lost and in need of knowing the truth. But between himself and his disciples there were too few of them. They needed more help! They needed to ask God’s help to provide more workers to help them as they continued their works in ministry.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Being a follower of Christ is not a “spectator’s sport”. It is something that is going to take a total team effort, and involves all to do their part and “get in the game”!

I would like to think that all the people in this passage whose lives were touched by Jesus were all able to turn their lives around, repent from old sinful habits, and share with everyone they came into contact with about what Jesus had done for them. I hope that the crowds of people that were coming by the numbers to see him weren’t just there for a “free handout”, or they were just there to witness a miracle. I would like to think these crowds of people all became believers and followers of Jesus that day. That they learned about His teachings and were able to share it with others as well. Now that would be multiplying Christ Followers everywhere!

In the same aspect I would like to think that we as Christ Followers aren’t just here “for the ride”. We’re not just in it to receive His blessings/”free handouts” from Him. I would like to think that we as Christ Followers know that we were bought at a price. That we understand that we are called to partner with our Almighty Father in Heaven to help further His Kingdom here on earth. Yes our God can do ALL things and He is Almighty and powerful. But he desires for us to partner with Him, to be His hands and feet here on earth, to do ministry together, fellowship together, build His Kingdom…together. 

The same way Jesus looked into the crowds and had compassion for all the lost souls He saw, is the same way we need to look within our own communities and workplaces and have that same compassion towards them. There is lots to do out there, and so few of us that are willing to step in and help. Like Jesus said in verse 37, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.“  We too should do as Jesus instructed his disciples in this passage and ask God to help provide us more workers to aid us in the field of ministry. Ask God to provide us people who are willing to “get in the game” and make a difference!

Life Application

Be an influence out in the world to lead others to Christ, and lead those who already know Him, (but may not truly follow Him), to “get in the game” and partner together and serve in ministry together!

DSC is the perfect place to start serving in ministry if you’re not already. They offer outreaches within our community (Rio Vista Elementary and the blue condos across the train tracks), a recent missions trip to India, and plenty of other ministries within our church. So, as you can see there are plenty of opportunities to serve and get out in the fields of ministry. And the more hands we can get in there helping each other, the lighter the load it is for our brothers and sisters. So isn’t it time we get in the game and help our team?!

“God has shown you his grace in many different ways. So be good servants and use whatever gift he has given you in a way that will best serve each other.” 1 Peter 4:10 ERV

 
-Moses Gaddi


2 Samuel_5

Scripture

2 Samuel 5:18-19

“The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. So David asked the LORD, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The LORD replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.””

Observation-What does it say?

David had just captured the fortress in Zion. He was anointed King by all the tribes of Israel, and David and his army were growing more and more powerful because God was with them. Meanwhile, the Philistines just got news that David was anointed king of all of Israel so they mobilized all their forces to try to capture him. David then turns to God to seek his next move.

Understanding-What does it mean?

As mighty and powerful David has become, he understands that it is all God’s doing.

It could be easy for anyone in David’s shoes(sandals) to get prideful and believe the recent success that they have been experiencing is from their own doings. As for David, he knows better. He remained humble, seeking God for his every military move (vs. 19 & 23). David waited for God’s response before making any move against his enemy. David also honored God by giving him credit for his victories (vs. 20). David realized the victories and blessings he received in life were due to his relationship with God.

Life Application

Having a strong relationship with God is the only way I can get through all of the ups and downs in life. Relying on His strength rather than my own strength is the smartest decision I can make.

Father God, may I involve you in every decision in life. No matter how big or small my problem is, You are always there. May I find Your blessings in life as I put You in the midst of everything I do. Thank You for wanting a relationship with a sinful man like me. 

Thank You for Your son Jesus who makes our relationship even possible.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi