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_19

Scripture  
 
Psalm 19:8-9
 
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.  The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
 
Observation-What does it say?  
 
This Psalm is written by David, the king of Israel and a man after God’s heart. It expresses how he sees God’s glory in the universe, without the need for words.  He then expresses his love for God’s law- pure and clean, bringing joy and enlightenment.  David confesses of his own need of protection from and forgiveness of sins.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?  
 
I heard it said recently in a discussion of God’s laws and ways (and I’m paraphrasing), “God is God, and if he wants it done that way, that is the way it’s done.
It doesn’t matter if he wants me to stand on my head to worship him, that is what He wants and I’m going to do it.”  Sometimes there are times and events that don’t seem to make sense, or that God is not present with us.  But His wisdom is higher than my wisdom, and His ways are greater than my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

In light of tragedies where family, friends, children, colleagues are taken without explanation, there can be a lot of reactions.  I am angry at the unexplained motives behind the actions at the Borderline that took a co-worker of mine.  But ultimately I must lay down my will and respond to the will of my heavenly Father.

 
Life Application
 
Jesus, teach me to pray as you did. Not my will but yours be done.  And teach me to love as you did.  For you gave your life for all the sins of all mankind, no matter what they have done.  I trust that your plan is actively playing out.  
 
-Tyler Galloway


Psalm_18

Scripture

Psalm 18:49
Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;     
I will sing the praises of your name.
 
Observation – What does it say?
King Saul, threatened by David, gathered an army with him and pursued David to kill him. David cried out to God, and God delivered him. And in response, he lifted up his voice in worship to God. He sang a spontaneous song of his love for God, recounting all God had done for him. And at the end of this song he declares that his response to what God has done for him would be to praise him, not just in private but for all the world to hear.
 
Understanding – What does it mean?
Don’t keep your praise private. The natural response to encountering the saving love of God is to praise him for it. But for David, it wasn’t enough to praise God in private. He wanted the world to know.
 
The demon possessed man in the region of the Gadarenes had an encounter with Jesus and was delivered. Afterward, Jesus told him to go home and tell his family what God did for him. But this man, so overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement, didn’t just go home. He went all throughout 10 cities telling everyone he experienced! 
 
Life Application
Tell others about what God has done.
When I first was saved, I was so excited about what God had done. It was so fresh and recent, and I couldn’t keep it to myself. I told everyone! I’d be sharing with my seat-mate in the plane about it before we even took off. I’d share with every person I could, no hesitation. I longed for everyone to experience the love of God I had just experienced!
 
I still long for the same, but today I felt challenged that I don’t often share as quickly or with the same excitement as I did at first. Reflecting on all God has done for me, I choose to stir myself up and praise him to everyone in my life! 
 
 
– Levi Thompson


Luke_14

Scripture
 
Luke‬ ‭14:5-6‬ ‭NLT
 
“Then he turned to them and said, “Which of you doesn’t work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pit, don’t you rush to get him out?” Again they could not answer.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
One Sabbath day, Jesus was having dinner at the home of one of the Pharisees. During this time, there was a man whose arms and legs were swollen. Jesus asked the Pharisees if the law permitted healing on the Sabbath. The Pharisees refused to answer the question. So Jesus touched and healed the man and sent the man on his way. Then Jesus basically asks the Pharisees if they saw someone in need of help, would they ignore them just because it was the Sabbath? Again the Pharisees has no response.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
It’s all about God not us.
 
The Pharisees were real rule sticklers. They believed in order for them to become closer to God they needed to jump through these “spiritual hoops” or cross off certain things from their “spiritual checklist” in order to be holy. These Pharisees were supposed to be educated on God’s Word, know about all the prophecies about the Messiah, and truly know God’s character. Yet little did they know the Messiah, God in the flesh, had been living amongst them, right under their noses, all this time. They lost sight of God’s calling for them. To love thy neighbors, to love God with all their hearts, and to truly understand God’s character and His love for people. It became more about showing others how holy and righteous THEY were (by following these rules), rather than showing others how holy, righteous, and awesome GOD is. And that is what I believe Jesus was trying to show them here. Whether it was through helping or healing people, no matter what day it was, Jesus always glorified His Father in Heaven. God received all the glory for everything Jesus did. Jesus understood that one of the ways He can share the glory of God’s love to people, is by helping them. Shouldn’t I do the same?
 
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭
 
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:31‬ ‬‬
 
Life Application
 
Share God’s love with someone in need today.
 
Father God, give me the heart you have for the lost. Give me your eyes to see them. Give me the courage and strength to follow through with obedience when your Holy Spirit directs me. May the work I do not bring light to me, but You. May the people around me catch a glimpse of You because of it. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Luke__13

Scripture

Luke 13:10-17 NIV

“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.”

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus healed on the Sabbath and made the religious leaders extremely angry (indignant) as He was to only work 6 days and rest on the Sabbath. Jesus rebuked them, called them hypocrites and used the example of them untying the ox to allow it to drink water. What more should we untie a person from their bondage to Satan in order to be free to receive the Living Water on the Sabbath?

Understanding-What does it mean?

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:8, Luke 6:5)

In Scripture, Jesus healed and allowed His disciples to pick grain for food on the Sabbath. Why? Because He was Lord over that day. Basically, they were already with the One who we are to honor on the Sabbath. The One who gave them their true soul and spirit rest was physically with them. 

Another example was with fasting. Jesus’ disciples didn’t fast and John’s disciples questioned that. Jesus basically replied that they didn’t need to fast when the bridegroom was with them. The purpose of fasting was not to observe the law, but to draw closer to the Lord and they were already with Him! He did say that the time will come when they will fast though.

“Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” Matthew 9:14-15 NIV

Life Application 

We must observe the Sabbath, just like we must fast; however, legalism has no place in these practices. It is about drawing near to and finding spirit and soul rest with Jesus.

My Sabbath day is on Wednesday. I do my best to protect it, but there have been situations where it has had to be cut short and I’ve had to modify or switch my day. For example, a couple of my Sabbath days, my kids were sick with fevers and have had to stay home from school. I didn’t say, “too bad, I’m not working today so you need to go to school.” I take care of them and help nurse them back to health. 

There have also been a couple of times where the plumber has had to come to our home on my Sabbath day due to backed up pipes in our kitchen sink that could have caused sewage water flooding in our home. That’s an emergency and of course I made sure the work got done! I didn’t say, “too bad, it’s Sabbath. I’ll just let my home flood.”

Also, if a family member or church member was hospitalized and possibly on their death bed, I wouldn’t hesitate to head over to the hospital to pray over them. I wouldn’t say, “sorry, it’s my Sabbath. Ask someone else to do it.”

There are many situations that can wait until the next day to attend to, after our Sabbath; however, there are some situations that cannot wait and are exceptions to rule. We MUST protect our Sabbath day, just like we must pray and fast and just like we don’t commit murder or adultery or covet or lie because it’s part of God’s commandments. However, when God came to earth as Jesus, the heart behind all these commands and the standards changed (i.e. looking lustfully is adultery and being angry/unforgiving with a brother or sister is murder),  where its no longer about legalism, but Jesus. Remember what Paul said in Philippians 3?

“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:3-14 NIV

Amen Apostle Paul!

-Michelle Gaddi



Joshua_9

Scripture

Joshua 9:14

14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. 

Observation

The “fame of the Lord” [love that, by the way] had reached far and wide.  It was well known that Joshua and Israel were blessed in many ways to include battle.  Many came together to fight (and lose) against the Israelites, but the people of Gibeon took a different approach.  In fear of their lives, they made it look as though they came from a long way off – not neighbors from the land that God had given the Israelites through Moses – seeking a peace treaty with them.  They played it up well with cracking and repairing their wine skins, patching up their sandals, using dry and moldy bread.  While they looked the part, they were still questioned “But perhaps you live near us, so how can we make a treaty with you?” (verse 7).  [Perhaps this was the process with anyone who came before them…or maybe it was the Holy Spirit nudge or that “gut feeling” that something wasn’t quite right.].

Of course, when questioned, they lied – calling out the “fame of the Lord” as the reason they’ve come – pointing out all the props and how their condition was due to the “very long journey” they had made to get there…bringing us to verse 14.

Understanding

It’s ever so slight; in fact, I missed it the first time I read through it. 

14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.

They checked the physical evidence, but didn’t go to God.  They relied on their own senses, their own findings, their own determination…but did not seek counsel.  And, it’s easy to see why – the sight test seemed obvious.  Perhaps we’d make the same decision in those circumstances.  But…things aren’t always as they appear.

Life Application

Seek the counsel of God and His people. 

Good news is, God is 24/7/365.  There’s not a moment that we can’t “reach” him.  In our day to day and, ESPECIALLY when we are carrying out His calling, we should seek His guidance, His direction…even in the small, mundane or obvious.  He will guide each step. 

Thank you for your availability, your overwhelming love and your willingness to provide us DAILY guidance.  Help me to seek it out, to listen to the Holy Spirit nudge and ACT in accordance.

In your name, I pray.  Amen.

-Rei

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



Luke_11

Scripture  

Luke 11:5-8 

“Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”

Observation-What does it say?  

At this point in the book of Luke, Jesus is starting to develop some of the finer points of what it means to be a disciple with those closest to him.  He has already chosen the twelve apostles, and sent out the seventy disciples on a healing ministry.  Here, one of the disciples asked Jesus to teach him how to pray.  Jesus leads in with the Lord’s prayer.  He then dives deeper into the matter by discussing some of heart issues we deal with when we pray.  He shows us, through examples of bread and fish, of where our faith is to be when we bring our requests to Him.

Understanding-What does it mean?  

Matthias, my youngest, loves to eat snacks.  We can’t get him to eat a full meal without strapping him down to his seat (I’m not even kidding, he’s almost four and still gets buckled to his booster).  We struggle to get him to eat more than a few bites of breakfast, lunch and dinner.  He will claim that he is full and that he doesn’t want to eat anymore, but as soon as the buckles come off he will run into the pantry and grab a snack.  He then shoves it in Jen’s or my face and begins to pester us with the requests, “Can I have this?”  All the while there is still soggy cereal in the bowl on the table, which he refuses to eat.  “Can I have this?”  He isn’t dressed yet, hasn’t brushed his teeth.  “Can I have this?”  Now we are running late to get the other boys to school.  “Can I have this?”  And as we are frantically finding backpacks, water bottles, homework folders, and sweatshirts, “Can I have this?”  All of the sudden I snatch the granola bar from his little hand, violently rip the plastic wrapper open, hand it to him as I scoop him up and throw him (also a little violently) into the stroller, and scream, “YES! Just get in the stroller, we have to go.”  The little guy wins almost every time.

Thankfully, God never loses his cool like I do.  Since God is all knowing (omniscient) and out side of time (omnipresent), he never has a need to worry or get impatient.  He has the time to listen to our desires and the wisdom to know the right time to give them to us.  I think in this passage Jesus is trying to teach us a few things about our motives and about our stress.   

When I worry about something, God tells me to bring it to him, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  (Philippians 4:6)  The more I learn to bring my desires and cares to him the less I will worry about them.  Also the more I come to Jesus with my desires and worries, it seems that my worries go away and my desires start to line up more with His will.  In the book of James, we are taught that God is jealous for us, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?” (James 4:3-5)

Life Application  

Jesus, teach me to pray as you would.  I want to see my life through your lens.  I want my time to be spent where you want it spent and my money spent where you want it spent.  And when I have a desire, help me to bring it to you until I know that the answer lines up with your will.

-Tyler Galloway



Luke 10

Scripture

Luke 10:2-3

2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

Observation – What does it say?

Jesus was getting ready to go into different towns and villages to minister to people. In preparation, Jesus gathered a larger group of his disciples, not just the 12, but 72 others.  And he told them that the harvest was plentiful but the workers were few. In other words, there are many who are ripe and ready to receive the good news of salvation and accept Jesus. But the problem was a shortage of laborers who would go to them and share the good news. 

Jesus tells them 2 ways they can be a part of the solution: 1. Pray for God to send laborers into the harvest field. 2. Go themselves into the harvest field.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Pray and Go!

Often when I have heard this verse quoted, it’s only verse 2. There is a need for laborers so pray for God to raise some up and send them out. What stood out to me this time reading it is that is only half of Jesus’s command to his disciples. Don’t just pray, but go yourself! 

Often times I become aware of a need and think, “God, someone should do something about this.” There is nothing wrong with asking God to raise someone up to deal with it. Jesus actually commands us to ask him. But what I’m realizing more and more is that any need or problem I become aware of, God is usually allowing me to see it because he wants me to be part of the solution! 

Life Application

Don’t just pray for the solution, allow God to use me to be the solution.

God, forgive me for praying for someone else to fix things that you’ve called me to fix. Forgive me for the times I ask for a harvest and fail to go, fail to share with the people in my life. Help us to see ourselves as part of the solution and to make ourselves available not just to pray but to go. Amen. 

– Levi Thompson



Joshua_6

Scripture
 
Joshua‬ ‭6:1-2‬ ‭NLT
 
“Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Joshua and the Israelites are on the outskirts of Jericho. In order for them to continue on to enter the land that God has promised them, they must enter and take over the city of Jericho. In their way was a huge wall that fortified the city. No worries though. God keeps His promises. And God promises Joshua that Jericho, its king, and it’s strong warriors are theirs for the taking. All they have to do is follow God’s instructions.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
It may be unconventional at times, but God’s grace and power is alive to this day!
 
Now I’m sure when God told Joshua that the city of Jericho is theirs for the taking, he had no doubt in his mind that God would follow through on His promise. He probably just imagined it going down a different way. I’m guessing he thought God would hail down fire and brimstone
to terrorize the town, kill its people, and break down the walls so the Israelites can enter and invade it. Or maybe he thought would send His army of angels to destroy Jericho and clear a path for them. But instead God instructs Joshua to take up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, and have the people to march around the walls for seven days. Then on that seventh day, when they hear the priests sound a long loud blast from a rams horn, all the people were to shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the city would collapse and the Israelites would be able to take hold of the town. It may seem to be a pretty unorthodox way of doing it. But I believe God does things these ways to absolutely show that these miracles are no coincidence. It happens because of God, and Him alone. How else can you explain a small army like the ones the Israelites had, being “out-manned and out-gunned”, going up against a fortified city with mighty warriors within the walls, and being able to tear down the wall and take the city over?! How else can you explain a shepherd boy beating a giant with a rock and a slingshot? How else can you explain a man who once persecuted Christians to the fullest, and later became an apostle for Jesus Christ? How else can you explain a sinful man like me, repenting from my sins to, to follow Jesus? The answer to all those questions…it’s through the grace of God.
 
Life Application
 
Trust in God’s plan no matter how strange it may sound, and see amazing things happen.
 
As strange as God’s plan to overthrow Jericho may have sounded to Joshua, his obedience to God allowed the people of Israel and Joshua to witness something amazing.
 
Father God, allow me to hear your Holy Spirit speak and direct me. I believe You want to do amazing things through me today. Give me the strength to be obedient and follow through on Your direction no matter how strange it may sound, or how uncomfortable it may leave me. Because I know in the end, if I’m obedient to Your ways, You can do amazing things. Let me and those around me be witnesses to them. May Your name get all the praise and glory because of it. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Luke_8

Scripture

Luke 8:28 NIV

“When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!””

Observation-What does it say?

This section of the chapter describes Christ’s healing of the demon possessed man and His authority over the evil spirits. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Our God is greater than any darkness or evil around us.

The darkness trembles at the presence of Jesus. If we observe the interaction between Jesus and the evil spirits within the demon possessed man, we see how fearful they were of Jesus. The impure spirits were the ones begging Jesus not to harm them and put them in the abyss. They were the ones begging Jesus not to torture them. 
Life Application

Focus on the light of Christ instead of the darkness of the enemy. As we stay close to Jesus in faith, there will be no need to fear the enemy, because that same power that was used to drive out the demons lives in us! 

It’s important to know our enemy and who we are doing spiritual battle against. However, it’s more important to KNOW the One who is for us and focus on His goodness and light. It’s more important to put our focus on the One who conquered sin and death in order to be on guard and protect ourselves from the counterfeit.

Put in a real life example, I’ve heard it stated by a couple of pastors that people who have a career of spotting counterfeit bills do not study counterfeit bills. Instead, they study every detail of the real, authentic bill so that when presented with a counterfeit one, they are able to spot it right away. 

We need not fear our enemy when we put our hope and trust in Jesus. We need not fear when we put on His armor daily and are fed by His Word daily. We need not fear when we pursue a life like that of the Good Soil through hearing the word, retaining it and persevering to produce a crop. “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15 NIV

Dear Lord, we pray for protection against the evil one, but more importantly, increased faith to pursue You intimately, the God who is greater than our adversary. Help us to pursue Your truth above the counterfeit and lies. Amen. 

-Michelle Gaddi 



Joshua_4

Scripture

Joshua 4:24

24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”

Observation

This chapter gives a further account of the miraculous passage of Israel through Jordan. I. The provision that was made at that time to preserve the memorial of it, by twelve stones set up in Jordan (v. 9) and other twelve stones taken up out of Jordan (v. 1-8). II. The march of the people through Jordan’s channel, the two tribes first, then all the people, and the priests that bore the ark last (v. 10-14). III. The closing of the waters again upon their coming up with the ark (v. 15-19). IV. The erecting of the monument in Gilgal, to preserve the remembrance of this work of wonder to posterity (v. 20-24). [https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/joshua/4.html]

Understanding

The miracles of the Red Sea and crossing the Jordan are some of the most fascinating to me.  I love water!  Watching it ebb and flow at its ends, where it meets the shore.  Hearing the sound it makes.  Seeing the way it has shaped rocks and land where it once “lived.”  Seeing it course through white water trails or drizzle out of hot springs sources.  To me, it represents life, peace, power, change…which brings me back to its creator – the source of life, the provider of peace, all powerful and unchanging.

And, when I think of these miracles, that God created DRY ground where seas and rivers once stood.  That the MOMENT that which He asked be done and accomplished was complete, that the water returned.  Something about that catches me every time.

To me, it speaks to God’s power and His response to obedience. 

OBEDIENCE

God gives some crazy directions some time – carry these rocks, walk this way, blow trumpets, build this ark (different ark than this story, of course)…yet, His response and provision as a result of that obedience shows His character – a God who knows what He’s doing, who’s working in the details, who desires our hearts, One who provides…a God that we can trust.

POWER

God’s power as shown in these physical examples of holding back or drying up water is cool…but, as I was thinking through why His power is so important to the lives of His children or to those that don’t yet know Him, it’s because people have tough stuff going on and, in those times may feel hopeless, seeing no way out.  But I think when we can point to a physical, tangible example of just how powerful He is and how that’s been shown in the past, it gives perspective.  The problems become minute when brought to a God that commands the sea, who does the impossible, who bore our sins through Christ.

Life Application

Be obedient. 

Live in and in awe of His power. 

Have His heart for people. 

Share the stories of how God has moved in my life. 

God, I don’t know that I’ve relayed well what you’ve put on my heart…but thank you for grabbing hold of my heart the way you have this morning and impressing upon it the way you have today.  I don’t know what you are preparing me for in my day but I’m ready to look for moments to live out obedience, to love on people and to share your truth.  Keep my eyes open, keep my heart ready. 

In your name, I pray.  Amen.

-Rei

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