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!
 

Acts_3

Scripture
 
Acts‬ ‭3:10
 
“When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded!”
‬‬
Observation-What does it say?
 
Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray. At the front gate of the temple lay a crippled man from birth, begging for money. Peter and John didn’t have any money to give the man, but what they did give him was something far greater. They commanded the man to get up and walk in the name of Jesus! The man was crippled no more. He was instantly healed! The man went inside the temple walking, leaping, and praising God! The other people inside the temple realized who this man was, and they were filled with wonder and amazement.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
The people within the temple were filled with wonder and amazement of what they were seeing. These were people who probably came in to the temple regularly for prayer and worship. They were people who either witnessed Jesus in person perform similar miracles, or heard the stories about them, or even heard the stories from past family generations of the miraculous things God would do for the people of Israel. So nothing should really shock them when dealing with the power of God right? I mean, it didn’t even phase Peter and John to see this man get up, walk and jump, because they believed! They believed in Jesus! They believed in the power of the Holy Spirit! They knew it was because of their faith in Jesus, that He would empower them to do greater things than He did… through the power of His Holy Spirit.
 
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”-John‬ ‭14:12-14‬
 
So why not be like Peter and John? Do things in the name of Jesus to bring glory to God. Call on the name of Jesus expecting amazing things to happen. Believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and abide in it.
God wants to do amazing things through us. The question is, are we willing to step out in faith and be obedient to see all that He can do?
 
Life Application
 
Take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you today.
 
Father God, thank You for leaving me Your Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit may You guide me in my thoughts and my actions today. Give me the strength and courage to be obedient to Your direction. Help me to be Your hands and feet out there today. Help me to give people a glimpse of Your power, mercy, and love through my actions. May Your name be glorified through it all. In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


Acts_2

Scripture

Acts 2:17-21, 38, 41 NIV 

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”

Observation-What does it say?

It was the day of Pentecost. Pentecost was the Greek name for a festival known as the Feast of Weeks in the Old Testament. The Greek Word means fifty and is the fifty days after the Passover. In the Book of Acts, it signified the beginning of the church age, after Jesus’ ascension, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Believers. (Source: gotquestions.org)

Understanding-What does it mean?

The Holy Spirit empowers our ministry and makes it more effective to the lost.

God will use whatever means necessary to get our attention and to make our ministry more effective to the lost. When the Holy Spirit came upon the Believers at Pentecost, they were able to speak in different languages. Although they were Galileans, the Word of God spread to those who spoke different languages because of the Holy Spirit’s work in each of their lives. A total of 3,000 people repented, were saved and baptized that day!

Life Application

Be open to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Whether it is speaking in tongues, prophecying or healing, God distributes the Holy Spirit’s gifts as He wills in order to edify the believer and the Church. We believe that those gifts are still being distributed today!
For the next couple of months, Pastor will be preaching on the book of Acts and the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. Every Wednesday evening starting tomorrow, we will have worship nights from 7-8p. On one of those nights, January 23rd, Pastor Gary will be leading a very special night of prayer geared specifically towards being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Please join us!

Dear Lord, we pray that we wouldn’t hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, whatever that looks like, and that we would be open to all the gifts of the Spirit that You desire us to have. Thank You that the power of Your Spirit is still alive and available to us today! I pray for an abundance of salvations and baptisms as a result of His work through us and that we would experience the same power of ministry and love that the early church did. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi


Acts_1

Scripture

Acts 1:11-““Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.””

Observation-What does it say?

Jesus’ disciples had just witnessed Jesus ascend into Heaven and continued looking up into the clouds where He had disappeared. Two men dressed in white came over and encouraged them of Jesus’ second coming as they continued to stand there.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Before Jesus ascended, Jesus had told His disciples that He wasn’t going to leave them alone, but was going to send a helper, His Holy Spirit, to help them continue to do the work of being His witnesses to the ends of the earth. In verses 6 and 7, the disciples questioned when He would return, but Jesus told them that it wasn’t for them to know the time or day. What the Lord wanted them to know was that the Holy Spirit was going to come upon them and they were to be His witnesses on this earth.

Life Application

While we wait for His return, we must keep serving Him on earth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:7-8-He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will received power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

God never lies. He always keeps His promises and one of those promises is that Jesus is coming back! As Believers, we eagerly await the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, we are not to be concerned about the day or the hour of His return. We are also not to do our own thing or sit around after being saved while waiting to be raptured or to pass on to the next life (whatever comes first). Instead, with the help of His Holy Spirit living in us, we must work and serve Him until He returns. Paraphrasing what those 2 men in white said to the disciples, basically, “Be encouraged and stop looking into the sky for Jesus. He is coming back, but it’s time to get to work!” 

Dear Jesus, we look forward to the day when we get to see you face to face. We pray that we would not be idle in the works You have called us to do, but rather work and serve You on earth until You call us home to our eternal residence. Thank You that You have given us of Your Holy Spirit to help us fulfill those works. It is all about You and all for You Jesus! Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi



3 John 1

Scripture

3 John 1:4-6

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 

Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters,a]even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God.

Observation

As a parent, verse 4 rung sweetly true; what a gift that would be – the joy of seeing my children walking in truth, living in a way that shares their love (an abundance and overflowing of the God-given love within) and living in a way that honors God.

Understanding

As a parent, verse 4 rung sweetly true; what a gift that would be – the joy of seeing my children walking in truth, living in a way that shares their love (an abundance and overflowing of the God-given love within) and living in a way that honors God.  And that starts with living a life of example – not just to our born and adopted children but to those we have leadership over or even just encounter. 

Life Application

We have an opportunity to start a ripple effect with each encounter…sharing God’s love with others, living in a way that honors Him, living in truth.  People are searching, let us be the answer!

God, use me today!  Give me your heart for others, may I honor you in speech and in action.  In your name, I pray.  Amen.

-Rei

 



2 John_1

Scripture  

2 John 1:5-6  Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.  And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.  This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.  

 
Observation-What does it say?  
 
In this letter, the author (presumably John the apostle) is writing to another church group.  He addresses this church as “lady” and its members as her “children.”  According to some scholars, this reference was common in the early church.  This letter, though short, covers man of the same topics as 1 John, including the false teachings and gnosticism which were present.  John is excited to hear that the church is acting rich in love to one another, and encourages them to pursue this effort even more deeply.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  
 
“Is that how you want to be treated,” I say yet again, as one of my three sons takes a swing at another’s face.  I’m quite certain I heard the same lesson from my parents hundreds of thousands of times as a child.  Now I get to learn patience in the same way they did, slowly and agonizingly with the help of children.

I once had lofty goals of parenting.  My kids were going to change the world, be presidents and doctors etc.  I quickly learned the most two most important goals I have as a parent are simple: show them the love of Jesus Christ and teach them to show it to others.  There are other important lessons, but the ramifications of those really only last during this lifetime.  

Someone once asked Jesus what the most important commandment was.  In short he answered it like this, “Love God and love others.”  (Matthew 22:36-40)  The love that we show each other, and for those who are marginalized in society, displays the heart of God.  Jesus came to die for the whole world (John 3:16), even those we don’t necessarily want to show love to (Matthew 5:44).  This even applies to young siblings.

 
Life Application  
 
Jesus, let me hear clearly the words that you gave me through my parents and through your word, to love one another.  Help me to show this in both practical and extravagant ways.  Remind me to show it to my friends, family, and to those who I don’t care for as much.  Give me the grace to treat the ones I don’t like in the same manner as I would my mother or my children.
 
-Tyler Galloway   


1 Samuel_3

Scripture 

1 Samuel 3:7

Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.

Observation – What does it say?

Samuel ministered before the Lord in the temple under Eli. God called to Samuel 3 times, and each time he thought the voice was Eli’s. 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Shortly after I surrendered my life to Christ, I was sitting in a church service in my parents church in Colorado where I grew up. My dad said something from the pulpit that struck me. “That was good. I should tell my dad later,” I thought. After service I forgot about it and didn’t say anything to my dad or anyone else about it.
 
Later that evening I visited another church, and during ministry time at the end of service, I went to the front for prayer. I was just hungry for more of God and wanted him to speak to me. The pastor began to pray for me, then he paused. “You don’t need another word from God. He speaks to you all the time.” I thought to myself, “Yea, right! This guy doesn’t know hat he’s talking about.” After a pause he continued, “God told you something earlier today about your dad.”
 
“What? How in the world could he know about that?!” I thought. I knew it could only have been that God revealed that to him.

Sometimes when God speaks, we mistake his voice for another.

As Samuel discovered that what sounded like Eli’s voice was actually God speaking, that day I learned that many times what I perceive to just be my own thoughts, are actually the voice of God. When I have ideas to do something good, to encourage someone, to pray for the girl with crutches at the grocery store, to share Jesus with someone at the gym, those thoughts don’t originate with me! And, I highly doubt Satan would be wanting me to do those things! So if it’s not Satan and it’s not me, it must be that God is the one speaking those thoughts and ideas.

Life Application

Ask God to help me discern his voice better. 

Whenever I think to do something good, recognize it’s most likely God and respond in obedience. 
 
– Levi Thompson


Psalm_57

Sc‭‭ripture
 
Psalms‬ ‭57:7‬ ‭
 
“My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises!”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
It’s hard to imagine, but David is writing this psalm in a cave, hiding from Saul and his men, and fleeing for his life! As David’s enemies are closing in on him, David finds comfort knowing that the God of the universe is on his side AND HIS GOD IS MIGHTY!!! So while most would cower, blame God, or turn their backs to Him, David worships Him and sings His praise.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Life’s storms wearing you down? Lean on God!
 
It could have been so easy for David to point the finger at God, turn His back away from Him, or even just plainly give up in life. I think many of us would under his circumstances. But instead of David having a self-pity attitude, David focuses his thoughts on God. By doing so, his heart begins to shift from being worried and scared, to one of confidence and strength. Because David knows his life is in God’s hands, and there is NOTHING in this world that God cannot handle!
 
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”-‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭32:27‬ ‭
 
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”-Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭
 
Life Application
 
Relying on God for everything!
 
What a great reminder for me as I get ready to start the new month of prayer and fasting. A great way to start the new year is to re-focus my life and center it around God. It’s a great way to cleanse my life from all the things in life that have been distracting me away from Him. I guess you can say it’s a system reboot. But, it’s a great way to deepen my relationship with God and build that type of relationship that David had with Him. To be just as confident in God as David was, knowing no matter what life throws at me, my God will get me through it! How bad do I want that? How bad do we want that?! Are we willing to give up those distractions in our lives and call on the name of the Lord instead? Will you all join me this month with our prayer and fasting? Let’s see what God can do not only in our lives, but in our church, city, and nation as we seek Him earnestly!
 
-Moses Gaddi
‭‭‬‬
 
 


Psalm__56

Happy New Year! 2019!

 
Scripture
 
Psalm 56:3-4, 10-13 NIV
 
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?……In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
King David wrote this Psalm documenting when the Philistines had seized him in Gath. It’s a very interesting story. David pretended to be insane in order to escape Achish, king of Gath. Please see 1 Samuel 21:10-15 for the full story. 
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Troubles in life cannot be escaped. They must be faced in the strength of the Lord.

King David had fled from Saul because Saul intended to kill him (See 1 Samuel 20:30-34). However, David had found himself in a similar predicament when he fled to Achish, king of Gath. His troubles had followed him. As a result, David pretended to be insane in order to be set free because he was “very much afraid of Achish..” (1 Samuel 21:12). This is when he wrote Psalm 56. He was crying out to God because his enemies were in hot pursuit of him. He was encouraging himself out of his fear by remembering Who he must put his trust in and how mere mortals can do him no harm when God is on his side.  

 
Life Application
 
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. 

Heading into a new year can be a joyous time, but also a fearful time for some. For some, it can mean new beginnings. For others, it may cause fear of what the new year may hold; Fear of the unknown. Regardless of the emotions that heading into a new year may bring, we must remember that as long as our trust and hope remains on Jesus Christ, it will be a great year and we can worship and be thankful because He remains good all the time!  Dear Lord, we invite You into this new year, of new seasons and new beginnings. We have faith that no matter what this year brings, it will be good because You are always good. Amen. Please listen to this song, You are My Hiding Place by Selah. https://youtu.be/_dR0H0tAYT8

-Michelle Gaddi



Ruth 4

Scripture

Ruth 4:4-6 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you[b] will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.” “I will redeem it,” he said. Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the[c] dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.” At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.” Observation-What does it say?

[Now that we’ve had the “long, slow walk through Ruth” (courtesy of PG), this story holds a new meaning and interest for me.]  As we know, Boaz had been smitten when he saw Ruth in the field; but he upheld tradition with honor, seeking out the appropriate process and associated guardian-redeemer to give him the opportunity to claim what was “rightfully his” [according to the times] – to include both land and Ruth.

Understanding-What does it mean?

This is a beautiful love story – one built on honor, respect and obedience.  Just as PG had done in his sermon series, it’s also a great assimilation of the story of God, sending His son, Jesus, as the bridegroom – bearing our sins that we may have eternal life in heaven. 

Even as amazing as Ruth was – a woman of character, a hard worker, a caretaker for Naomi – she was seen as a potential “endangerment” to the designated guardian-redeemer’s estate.  An “endangerment” that Boaz was glad to take on because he saw her as valuable – not as property, but as a partner and someone he wanted in his life for the rest of it. 

The reason this struck me is…even as broken, unworthy, sin-filled humans, God sees us as valuable, lovable and people he wants to partner with (as we submit, we become His hands and feet in the world) and spend the rest of His life with (eternity).  It’s truly the greatest love story ever told! <3

Life Application

God, thank you for loving me and choosing me just as I am – in all my imperfection.  I’m grateful that we don’t have to be “good enough” to be chosen, to be sought after, to be loved!  Teach me to love like that.  Use me to let people know they are seen, valued, loved…not by me, but by a heavenly Father with a Father’s heart for them.

Big love to you above! <3

-Rei

 



1 John_1

Scripture:  1John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Observation-What does it say?  Though it is not labeled directly, the authorship of this letter is attributed to the apostle John.  The style and authoritative tone are strikingly similar to that in the fourth gospel.  In this letter, John addresses ideas and philosophies that were creeping into the church.  Much like today, the church was facing pressures from outside groups to incorporate things that were contrary to the gospel.  On top of that, some of those who were the most vocal of making these changes had abandoned the regular meetings, proposing that their spirituality had progressed beyond this.  

Understanding-What does it mean?  I took an art history class once, which was both fun and highly frustrating.  Some of the “opinions” of the meanings of different pieces of art, and the time periods they were made in, were swayed by the political and moral leanings of both the professor and the author of the text.  But I digress.  In the class we discussed the modern art movement and “art for art’s sake.”  The major theme in the modern art movement, which started in the late 19th century and carries through today, was the autonomy of art and the artists freedom of expression.  In other words, the art only needs to be an expression of the artist to be art, there was no longer the need to have any quality or mastery of form.  

And so, without any attention paid to form, purpose and true meaning, we are left with a cheap imitation of true art.  Where art was once defined by pieces like the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, we now see art in the form of “Lipstick urinals” https://collections.lacma.org/node/177865.  Similarly, we can experience the same cheapening in life when our focus is drawn away from truth.

The Christmas season used to be depressing for me, and for many it still is.  When the season is separated from the hope brought into the world through the birth of the messiah, we are left with celebrating for celebration sake.  The focus is then put on the presents and food, which always left me searching for more.  But when we remember that the birth of Jesus is where our hope begins, we can continue to celebrate on through the year and into eternity of the wonders of the love which Jesus showed to us.  In this time of the year, I am looking to celebrate the only one who “dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:13-16).

Life Application:  Jesus, thank you for coming to earth in the form of a man.  Thank you that you took on the weight of my sin by dying on the cross.  Thank you for making me complete.  Help me to always return my focus to you, the true light. 

-Tyler Galloway