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!

Ecclesiastes 1

ScriptureEcclesiastes 1:2-3  “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”  What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun?


Observation-What does it say?  The author of Ecclesiastes is King Solomon, the second son of David and Bathsheba.  Solomon was given the name of Jedidiah by God, through the prophet Nathan, which means “God’s beloved.” (2 Samuel 12:25)  In the opening of this book, Solomon sets out his point of the book using the literary device of pessimism. Here he begins by stating how fruitless the pursuits of this world are, only to later show the contrast of a fulfilling life found in God. 


Understanding-What does it mean?  It’s interesting that Solomon opens with what should be glaringly obvious to us, we spend a lot of time trying to distract ourselves from how broken we are.  In following sports teams, shopping, fitness, whatever it is that distracts us from chasing after Jesus is a fruitless pursuit. But how do we find a meaningful life?  


I recently read an article by a guy named Rob Shaul, a gym owner and graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard academy, about being fulfilled in life.  He starts the article by saying there are no shortcuts in life, and that you don’t really want to take the shortcut anyway. Shaul went on in his article to discuss that fulfillment was found in commitment and discipline.  This sentiment is something that has been repeated in the writings of several elite level coaches. Another coach, Dan John, who was one of the oldest U.S. Olympians competing in the discuss into his forties, stated that the road to success is simple but it isn’t easy.  In his writings, he also highlights the importance of discipline in order to achieve success.


While Solomon isn’t interested in worldly success, and the coaches aren’t necessarily concerned with our spiritual well being, the truth seems to ring true.  If you are looking to find meaning in life, it requires discipline, and meaning in the Christian life requires disciplining our life to the word of God. Throughout the Bible we are given notions of true love being found when we are disciplined to God’s word.  Deuteronomy 6 tells us that we should bind the commandments to our forehead, and study them day and night. In Colossians 3, we are told to do everything as unto the Lord. But how can we do things for Him, unless we know what he has asked us to do? That knowledge can only come from reading God’s word, which requires discipline.


Life Application  Jesus, I don’t want to waste my life aimlessly trying to distract myself.  Help me to find your joy in the discipline of Your commands, and in studying your word daily.  Like Paul, help me to train myself like an olympian, but with the knowledge that my reward is everlasting life spent with You.          

-Tyler Galloway

Matthew _10



Mark 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”




Mark 10:1 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.




Total dependence on God 


Mark 10:15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”


Children totally depend on their parents for their well being food, love, warmth, and joy. They should depend on them, after all, they know better, they will provide the best care for them and give them what they need in all aspects of life. Us humans fall so short in parenting but how much more is our perfect Father in heaven going to give us what we need.


He will take care of me as I follow him on his journey that he’s invited me to join.


Our “riches” are what we need and have come to depend on.


We find it difficult to let go of our “riches” because we find it’s difficult to let go of our “self”. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6) and we must deny our self and take up our cross daily and follow Him (Matt. 16:24).


Jesus said that even the food he eats is to do the will of the father (John 4:34)




Let it go


What “riches” are we holding onto that is keeping us from following after Jesus?


You may say, “I follow Jesus, I follow the 10 commandments and I go to church”. The rich man did all the right things too! (Mark 10:17-22) When Jesus was talking to the rich man, he said for him to let go of everything, then come follow Him. Even though he did all the right things and followed the commandment, Jesus wanted to take him on a journey. And sadly that’s where a lot of us fall short. 


What is keeping you from following Jesus on the journey he has specifically for you?


Father, we need you! Holy Spirit show us what things are standing in the way from wholeheartedly following after Jesus. Search our hearts and reveal to us! We want to move into this new year with a decrease of ourselves and an increase of Jesus! We want to move with Him! In Jesus name, Amen!

Deborah Lee


Psalm 115

Happy New Year 2020!


Psalm ‭115:3-4‬


“Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes. Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.”


OBSERVATION-What does it say?

This psalm is all about giving God all the glory, honor, and praise! This psalm reminds us of God’s faithfulness. It reminds us that God is our helper and shield. It reminds us that God will bless those who put their trust in Him. It reminds us that there is no other that compares to our God!


UNDERSTANDING-What does it mean?
Don’t settle for the imitation brand. Get the original!
Have you ever wanted to purchase something, but the item was a bit out of your price range? Then instead of saving a bit more for it, you went ahead and bought a “knock off” version of that item so you could save a few bucks. Then once you took it home you began to notice some imperfections in the item. Then within weeks, the item begins to unravel and breakdown on you! I mean here you are with a broken down product, an empty wallet, and nothing to show for it. You were bamboozled!
In this psalm, the author is trying to express to the people of Israel to not fall into that trap. They serve a living God. They serve a God who is willing to help, shield, and bless them. The heavens belong to Him, and He is willingly bless them if they are to put their trust in Him.
So why put their faith in anything else?! Other nations may worship their gods. But their gods are man made. Their gods are imperfect. Their gods do not speak, see, or hear. Their gods are “knock offs” from the One True God. Worshiping those false gods will only leave them feeling…bamboozled!
Put God first this New Year and see what He can do!
What a great way to start the New Year by our 28 days of prayer and fasting. It’s a great way we can put God first in our lives. It gives us a chance to “reboot” our systems, start fresh, get rid of all of life’s distractions, and put our focus back on God. So let’s put away those false idols in our lives that tend to take the place of God-(like work, money, television, internet, etc.). Let’s put God first. Let’s put Him back on the throne of our lives where He belongs. I’m sure He will bless us because of it! 😊
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”-Psalms‬ ‭37:5
-Moses Gaddi

Mark 8

Mark 8:38
38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Observation-What does it say?
Jesus was speaking to the crowd and His disciples about what it means to be His disciple. A disciple must: 1) Deny themselves. 2) Take up their cross. 3) Follow Him. 4) Not be ashamed of Him.
Understanding-What does it mean?
Jesus did not sugar coat the cost of being His disciple.
They must lose themselves for Him, the Gospel and not be ashamed of Jesus. Those who are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of when He returns. Another parallel verse to Mark 8 is in Luke 9.
Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭9:26‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Life Application
Don’t be ashamed of your faith. Proclaim it boldly!
On December 3rd, I posted in our SJ blog about what it looked like to lose our lives and take up our cross for Jesus. Today, we are reminded that we cannot be ashamed of Him, His Words and our faith in Him.
Tonight, many of us will be ringing in the New Year with our families. In 2020, let’s commit/re-commit fully to the work of the Lord, proclaim our faith boldly without shame to our families, friends and neighbors and see the harvest unfold in our lives and at DSC! If we feel like we don’t have much to offer Him, He is the One who is able to multiply faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:58‬ ‭NIV‬‬
-Michelle Gaddi



Mark 7:37

37 People were overwhelmed with amazement.  “He has done everything well,” they said.  “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”


Mark 7 starts with religious leaders finding fault in the disciples for eating with “unclean” hands.  They call out the failure to “follow tradition” to which Jesus counters that “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”  Further, he explains it is not that which that comes from outside the body that defiles; but, rather, that “from within, out of a person’s heart.”

He then goes on to heal a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter and heal a deaf and mute man. 


Jesus lived a blameless life, full of calling people into accountability and healing those with ailments.  He was REAL through and through.  He did not care for the worship of people’s lips if the way they lived their lives showed something else set on the throne of their hearts.  He did not care of the religions laws and traditions were followed if the heart was not in the right place. 

And, as result of all of this, people followed him wherever He went.  People shared the excitement of His presence and the things He had done…even when He asked them not to. 

Life Application

I loved this last verse because it reminded me of visiting a village in India late at night.  Hearing of a woman who was having hearing problems as we were about to board the bus to go home and turning around to go find her, wake her up, lay hands on her, pray for her…and SEE HER HEALED.

Although I am not going this year, I am so excited that we have a team of people with hearts after God going to share His love with people in India.  The hands and feet of service will be multiplied, God’s love will be shared through fed bellies, healings of ALL kinds, people experiencing the deep-down-loved feeling of being seeing, known and loved.  I look forward in anticipation to the stories the team will return with, stories of seeing God move, stories of being used by Him.    

Let us live out REAL lives like Jesus did – lives where our words, actions and hearts all align and are in alignment with God’s heart.  And let us lift up those who are going, as an extension of Desert Streams Church in Santa Clarita, across the world to love on those in India. 


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



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