Journal Entries
Every weekday you will find a journal entry here from someone different in our church family. 
 
Click the scripture title and scroll down to see a comments section where you can ask questions, share insights and post your own SOUL Journal entry for the day!
 

2 Corinthians_10

Scripture 

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but  divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

In Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, we see a deep concern for their spiritual progress.  This letter is deeply personal and comes on the heels of the division seen within the church during the first letter.  One of the themes within the letter is that of his authority as an apostle.  In chapter ten, he turns his attention to a group who are hostile to the authority given to him.  During this chapter, he makes mention of his meek personality, which is in contrast to his boldness in writing.  However, not only does he remind them that our battle is not against humans or physical, but it is spiritual and only spiritual weapons will be of any use.  Paul echoes the words of David, from Psalm 20:7-9,  Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God. They have bowed down and fallen,

But we have risen and stood upright. Save, O Lord; May the King answer us in the day we call.”

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

I was scrolling through the available movies on our Disney Plus subscription and came across one of my childhood favorites, “Mighty Ducks.”  Feeling a little nostalgic, I started it and watched while working on a small project.  Within the first ten minutes, a character named Fulton Reed.  He is introduced as a larger than life character, who comes out of nowhere to protect some less fortunate kids.  As the movie progresses, he takes the roll of the “enforcer” on the ice, the big guy who does all of the hitting.  In some instances, just his mere presence causes the opposing players to turn tail and run.  

In our spiritual lives, the Holy Spirit is the ultimate enforcer.  He is more reliable than Fulton Reed, not to mention more powerful.  Several times in his writings, Paul makes mention that we have a fight that is in the spiritual realm and not the physical.  To the Ephesians he wrote, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”  In this battle, our best weapon is the help of the Holy Spirit, who Jesus told us would be our helper.

 

Life Application 

Holy Spirit, I ask that you would help guide me through my day.  Help me not to run away from spiritual fights, but in your power meet them head on.  And when my enemy is my own flesh, help me to rest in knowing that Jesus overcame my flesh when he died on the cross.  

-Tyler Galloway 





Genesis_16

Scripture – What stood out?

Genesis 16:5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!”

 

Observation – What does it say?

Ten years had passed in the land of Canaan where God had promised to give Abram and Sarai an heir. Already passed their child bearing prime and beginning to doubt God’s promise Sarai and Abram decide to take matters into their own hands.They decide to use Hagar, Sarai’s servant, to create an heir that clearly was no longer on the way.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

Ten years is a long time. To wait for anything. In a culture where having an heir and having offspring period was a necessity, I can only imagine the weight of waiting growing heavier each day that passed in Abram and Sarai’s already old age. And so the hatch and execute this plot to speed up God’s process.

 

Only it backfires.

 

Sarai had not expected Hagar to treat her with contempt (other translations use the word despise as something trifling) due to her impending and expected rise in status within the home about to deliver Abram’s only child. And in the heat of one of these moments Sarai cries out to her husband – DO SOMETHING!

 

Abram informs his wife of her own empowerment, Hagar runs away, and an angel of the Lord tells her to go back to Sarai and submit

 

Hagar looks on Sarai with contempt, because in certain respects she was about to rise above her boss. And so I wonder how God felt, when he promises this elderly couple a child and they…choose not to wait on his promise. I wonder if God maybe felt that Sarai and Abram had treated His promise with contempt, perhaps despising it as something trifling.

 

Life Application How can I apply this to my life today?

I believe God was trying to teach Sarai and her husband a lesson through Hagar. I don’t know what it would be like to live with an “enemy” in my home for 14 years. It sounds like torture. But I believe God’s ultimate message to Sarai is very similar to His message to Hagar – submit. Hagar was required to submit to Sarai. Sarai was required to submit to God. He had promised her a child, and had required her submission, he had required her to wait. 

 

And so Lord I ask you to reveal an area of my life where I have been disobedient to you. Where have I treated Your promise as trifling? Forgive me for my sin. Help me to follow in obedience. Help me to submit to You.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneh lee

 



Genesis__15

Scripture

Genesis‬ ‭15:6‬ ‭

“And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
God spoke to Abram in a vision. God reassures Abram that He will protect him, and He will reward Abram and give him many blessings. But Abram questions God. Abram doesn’t see the point to all these blessings if he doesn’t even have a son to share them with and carry on his legacy. God then takes Abram outside, shows him the stars in the sky, and promises Abram his descendants will be as many as the stars that he sees in the sky. Abram decides to trust God at His word, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
It is by our faith-(in Jesus), not by our works, that we are saved.
 
“If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way.”-Romans‬ ‭4:2
 
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-9‬ ‭
 
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”-Romans‬ ‭3:22‬ ‭
 
There are many other verses you can choose from in the Bible that show us that it is by our faith, and not by our works that we are saved. It is the mainstay of our Christian faith, and what separates Christianity from other religions. While other religions focus on what you do that get you in Heaven, Christianity is about what has been done (Jesus dying for our sins, and rising again, defeating death). Putting our faith in Jesus, believing he is the Son of God, knowing he died for our sins, and that he rose again gives us a hope and a certainty that we too will be with Him for eternity in Heaven. 😊
 
Life Application
 
Trust in God and His Word even if the odds are stacked against me.
 
Abraham did have some reasons to question and doubt God. After all, God was promising him descendants that would outnumber the stars in the sky and the sands along the seashore. One problem though…Abraham and his wife Sarah were already well past their years of childbearing. But God makes the impossible possible. Nothing is too hard for God. The God who spoke the universe into existence, can do anything for those who believe and trust in Him. So I choose to trust in God. No matter how bleak or grim a situation I am in, I trust that my God is all powerful, all knowing, merciful, compassionate, just, loving, and filled with grace. I trust that God’s way is better than mine, and I choose to follow Him. May I too be considered righteous because of my faith in Jesus.
 
-Moses Gaddi
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Psalm_61

Scripture

Psalm 61:1-8

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations. May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

David does a few things in this Psalm. He cries out to God acknowledging his weakness in light of God’s strength; remembers that God has been his refuge in times past; and cries out for strength in order to continue singing praises to Him and fulfill his duties and calling as king. 

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Run to God for strength and encouragement instead of our own. 

David was able to encourage himself out of situations and distress, in the strength of the Lord. King David runs and cries out to the Lord and as a result of His surrender and obedience, he finds peace, comfort and joy. 

As the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, after asking God 3 times to take away a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment him and keep him from being conceited, God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Then Paul said, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Basically, through all the opposition and weaknesses we face in this world, God’s grace and strength will always be enough to get us through. Needing comfort from the King of kings is not what makes us weak, but rather what makes us strong. 

 

Life Application 

I will draw comfort and strength from the Lord in order to pour out that same comfort to others. 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

King David and the Apostle Paul were 2 great men of the Bible with amazing testimonies of the Lord’s love for them. Their greatness is not what God was impressed with. It was their acknowledged weaknesses—their humility and surrender that God used to uplift them to the status of leadership that they were in. 

Dear Lord, I choose to draw strength from You alone. It inspires me that You never chose to work through perfect people, but those who were imperfect, yet dependent and reliant on You. It was amazing what the Holy Spirit was able to do in and through them as a result. I pray that I would always seek to be a woman after Your heart, always remaining humble and submitted to Your will Jesus. Amen. 

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm 60

Scripture  

Psalm 60:11  

“O give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain.”

 

Observation – What does it say?  

This Psalm was written during David’s reign as king.  It is quite possible that this was written during a time when the Israelites were at war with the Moabites.  This particular Psalm can be broken down into three parts; complaint for defeat (vs 1-4), a promise of victory (vs 5-8), and rekindled hope in God’s word.  The Psalm seems to show the result of turning away from God is the realization of being dependent on Him.  

 

Understanding – What does it mean?  

I heard someone say once that if you need to make a decision about something and one of the choices is something that will be to the detriment of your ego, choose that one.  The point was, we are ultimately put here to bring God glory and not ourselves.  Therefore, if we are struggling to do something because of the way we perceive it will make us look, we act in the way that God will get the glory and not us.  

I came to the realization, recently, that I have a tendency to only pursue things that I perceive will promote me.  Especially when it comes to work.  I want to follow the plan that will bring me the most positive attention.  I do this without taking the time to prayerfully consider the path that God might have intended for me instead.  I am essentially leaning on the wisdom of man to determine my path and future rather than God.  Then, without fail, come crawling back to God wondering, “why is everything going wrong?”

When I take time to look around in moments like these, it’s easy to see that it would be better for me to have asked for God’s direction in the first place.  I also get a look at the wonder of God’s amazing grace.  I do something dumb (read: I walked away from God), when my life is in shambles I run back to the one who can fix things (I repent), God in turn accepts us with loving arms (forgiveness).  And this is generally when God redirects my actions to serve others.  

In Galatians 6, Paul talks about our ability to help one another through the tough times.  He reminds us that our life here is short, and it is with perseverance in doing good that we will find eternal life. Much like the Israelites, we need only to seek God for direction in life and he will be our salvation.

 

Life Application  

Jesus, I want to spend all of my moments working towards sharing your glory.  Even if that means that I don’t look good in the process.  I want to trust in your path for me, and not in the wisdom of men.  Most of all, I want to be enamored with your salvation 

 

– Tyler Galloway 



Psalm 59

Scripture  

Psalm 59:16-17 

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.  O my strength, I will sing praises to You; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.


Observation-What does it say?  

As the title suggests, this psalm was authored by David.  The subscription of this psalm indicates that it was written when David was being pursued by Saul (1 Samuel 19:11-17).  David uses the imagery of night and day in this psalm, comparing the danger he faces to the darkness of night followed by the morning of deliverance.   In verses 13-15, David prays for God’s wrath to come down upon his enemies.  In verses 16&17, this is contrasted with the vow to praise God for his wonderful love and faithfulness, which is the cause for David’s confidence and peace.  


Understanding-What does it mean?   

I work shifts that vary on a pretty regular basis.  Sometimes I wake up way before a majority of society does and I get started with my shift when a lot of people are just getting their first cup of coffee.  Other times I am working through the night and get to see and experience the things that go bump in the night.  When I work during the day and am getting ready in the dark, I try to leave as many lights off in the house so everyone can stay asleep.  But this comes with its own set of hazards.  I have kicked many, many hard items in the darkness.  When I work at night, I have been scared right down to the bone when I hear something make a loud noise that I cannot see, eventually to find out it came from an animal that was small or from the wind.  Not to mention, working at night destroys any type of normal sleep pattern.  Needless to say, I look forward to day shift as soon as my night shift begins.  


Darkness, whether it be actual or metaphorical, gives us the impression of danger and increases our perception of fear.  But, God did not intend us to live in fear.  As Paul wrote to Timothy, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:67).  When we feel like we are lost in the darkness, we need to look to God, who is our salvation.  When we are calling out to Jesus, we must remember that He hears us and gives us the desires of our heart. But, our desires must be aligned with the heart  of Jesus (James 4:2-3).


Life Application 

Jesus, when I am in a dark place, help me to look to your light for my peace and strength.  Help me to call out to you in both good times and bad.  Fill my heart with worship for you and help me to make every action an act of worship for you, so that I may keep my eyes fixed on you and in this walk away from my fears.
 
-Tyler Galloway


2 Corinthians__4

Scripture – What stood out?

2 Corinthians 4

18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 

Observation – What does it say?

The apostle Paul in his second letter to the church of Corinth continues to encourage and instruct this young church that had been battling various issues that sought to confuse and divide the church at the time.

Understanding – What does it mean?

I had the opportunity to visit with a retired pastor in his golden years, I won’t give away his age but he is over 80 and still sharp as a tack. I cherish these moments with him because I suspect that I am his only visitor for that particular day. I say this because I am always prepared to receive whatever sermon he has prepared or the Holy Spirit has deposited into him at that moment in time!

 

His question to me during my latest visit was Have you tried to imagine heaven lately?

I was dying to answer ABSOLUTELY!

But that would not have been the truth.

 

With a look of fierce determination, the beginning of a smile and a slight twinkle in his eyes he looked towards me. “Try it some time! Thinking about heaven will boggle your mind. I don’t even know where to begin. I think about spending eternity with the King of the Universe and I get lost in my imagination!”

Life Application How can I apply this to my life today?

 

Am I looking to things that are eternal?

Have I tried to imagine heaven lately?

 

Father God I have seen a lot of movies, I have read bible verses, I have even seen pictures that describe heaven. I pray that Holy Spirit You would help me to imagine it. The space where God the Creator lives. The place where Jesus my Lord and Savior lives. Give me joy as I spend some time boggling my mind with thoughts of the eternal things on this beautiful day.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneth lee



2 Corinthians__3

Scripture

2 Corinthians 3: 17-18

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being ever transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
 

Observation

Paul continues writing his letter to the people of Corinth. Here, he promises a “new covenant,” one that is exciting and has no shackles, chains, or veils holding it back from experiencing the glory and goodness of God.
 

Understanding

So we all know (because I talk about it all the time) that I, Allison Khan, love learning about United States history. There I said it! I’m a nerd, and I don’t really care who knows it anymore. The period I love to study is the Revolutionary War, and the aftermath of said war. When looking at the events leading up to it, though two major themes come to the forefront of any historian looking at this era: liberty and freedom. Upon close examination we realize that these are NOT the same thing, which people commonly use them to mean the same thing. America gained liberty and independence, and freedom from the British Empire, NOT just freedom. Liberty is the idea of expressing rights and ideas within the confines of a fair and non-oppressive government and society. In other words, it is freedom that is contained. So in America we aren’t free to do whatever we like, we are free to do what is appropriate by law and society. Here is why I say all that: Paul says “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

He does not say “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty…” There are no restrictions in Christ Jesus! We are free to be who we were created to be, for the sake of the mission of Heaven. Paul also extends this idea that in God’s Presence we don’t hide any part of us. And why would we want to?! Rather we should bask in the glory of the Father, and the Spirit that He has given us. Because it is only in HIs Presence that we can know Him, be transformed in His image, and experience a freedom without any hindrances. The amazing thing about the Spirit of the Lord is that it is accessible to all. It’s not some rare thing reserved for a select few.
 

Life Application

We live a country that was founded on the idea of justice and liberty, but we were created by a Father who loves to grant us freedom. I feel there are some of you reading today that need to be reminded of that. Step out of the shadows and break into the new! Freedom seems daunting but it’s so liberating, and it’s yours for the taking if you want it.

-U.S. history buff, I mean Allison Khan



2 Corinthians_2

Scripture 

2 Corinthians 2: 5-11

Forgiveness for the Offender

5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

In this section of the letter from Paul to the Corinthian church, he is talking about “restoring a repentant offender.” (Reference: Matthew Henry’s Bible commentary (concise) on christianity.com)

Also, disclaimer, when I speak about the Church in this post, I’m speaking about the people, not the meeting place.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

Repent and Forgive!

Every sin has a consequence. God gives us consequences so that we would learn and grow from our mistakes, not repeat them. He loves us that much! The Church has consequences too to preserve the purity and integrity of what we believe in and stand for in Christ. As a parent, I love my children, so they get consequences and disciplined for behavior that Moses and I do not approve of too, because they are holding the Gaddi name.  

What I love about Paul’s letter, is that he highlights repentance as well, someone who is filled with Godly sorrow over worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow makes us take a 180 degree turn, like what Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to do after He forgave her. With repentant believers, we are called to forgive them of their actions and not continue punishing (or disciplining) them for their mistakes. A true repentant believer will already be beating themselves up over their bad decision, so we don’t need to add to that pain and drive them to “excessive sorrow” as Paul says. Instead, we must love, forgive, and comfort them.

 

Life Application 

What repentant sin offender do we need to forgive? Or if we are the offender, have we repented?

As a person who grew up in the church and started attending since the womb, I will be the first to tell you that NO church is perfect. None. And if you feel that you can find a perfect church, you will just be bouncing around in that pursuit because the church is filled with fallen/imperfect people like ourselves.

This is why forgiveness is so important. We will be offended, we will be hurt and grieved by people’s sins, especially if they are against us, and we may even be blindsided by unexpected decisions; however, if our brother or sister is repentant, we must love them and forgive them as Christ loves and forgives us of our sins. 

Enforcing extra punishment to repentant sinners is a scheme of Satan and is not the heart of Christ. Let us not fall for his schemes, but rather forgive others as many times as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32).

-Michelle Gaddi



2 Corinthians__1

Scripture

2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭NLT

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Paul is writing to the people throughout all of Greece, but particularly to the church in Corinth. Paul is reminding them that God is the true source of comfort. That God comforts them during time of pain and crisis, and in return they need to show others that same comfort God shows them when they are in need of it.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
There is a reason we sometimes have to go through the things we do.
 
You ever wonder why we go through some tough spots in life? I know I have. Whether it’s going through sickness or disease, or a loss of a loved one, God has a reason behind it. And sometimes that reason could be so that once we experience it, we can help, encourage, and walk others experiencing it, through that difficult time in life. You see, as Christ Followers we have a hope and a peace that others who don’t know Jesus have. We are supposed to be the salt and light of the earth. The light He shines in us (with hope and comfort), should be shared with others going through dark times. Who better can comfort someone dealing with the loss of a loved one or going through cancer? Obviously a person whose already been through it. The experience of not only going through such a difficult time, but the experience of how God delivered us through that time can be a spark of light or a beam of hope that someone really needs at that moment. Remember also, the world looks at Christians with a microscope. They dissect our behavior and every action. They want to see how we react when dark times hit us, and how we treat others. Let’s be the example that the world needs right now!
 
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”  Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭
 
Life Application
 
🎼This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.🎶
 
You all remember that song we learned in Sunday School growing up right? Well it’s time to put that song and those words into action! Time to go out into the world and shine God’s light, (that He instills in us), so the whole world can see. God has given us each our own individual paths and struggles that He got us through. Just know there is someone in this world going through a trouble that you may already have been through. Go and bring comfort to them. Encourage them. Share your story on how God helped you through it. Allow God’s light to brighten up their day! 😊
 
-Moses Gaddi
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