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!


Scripture:  Matthew 9:2-3  And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”  And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This fellow blasphemes.”


Observation-What does it say?  After the Sermon on the Mount, we see Jesus perform a series of miraculous healings.  And He heals people who were marginalized in the Jewish society: a leper, the son of a Roman soldier, and others who would have been quickly forgotten.  Word of these healings spread, making it harder and harder to get to Jesus. Where people once would have seen Jesus pass by in the street, there are now multitudes gathered around him.  


The story of Jesus healing the paralytic is paralleled in Mark 2:3-12 and Luke 5:18-26.  While seeking a physical healing, Jesus addresses a completely different issue, our sin. Juxtaposing this, the scribes and Pharisees present question his authority to forgive sins.  In looking at the two sides, those seeking Jesus and His healing, in comparison to those looking to keep to tradition and keep Jesus quiet, we see a difference in what needs to happen in our lives in order to find the forgiveness of our sins.  Simply, we need to accept God’s forgiveness, which can only be found through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.


Understanding-What does it mean?  A few years back, I went over the handlebars while riding my dirtbike, breaking my ankle in the process.  Luckily, my friend was right behind me. I was in the practice of going out alone and rarely had anyone with me.  In finding me down on the ground, my buddy asked me what I wanted to do and the only thing I wanted was to get to the hospital.  He rode his dirtbike about four miles to his truck, loaded his bike, and then drove up the trail to pick me up. In the process, the ramp used to load the motorcycles into the truck fell out of the truck.  When he got to where I was, he didn’t waste time going back to get the ramp, but used every ounce of muscle he had to load my dirtbike in the truck without any help. He then drove me to the hospital without any questions.


In versions of this story offered in Mark and Luke, we see some pretty dedicated friends.  Jesus was in a house, and the crowd was deep around him. Seeing that they couldn’t walk in the front door, this group of buddies goes extreme.  They hoist a paralyzed man (read dead-weight) on to the roof of the house (and there were no elevators back then). Once there, they bust through the roof to lower the bed down to Jesus.  You have to imagine that they busted a whole in the roof that was probably four feet wide and four feet long, and it wasn’t their house. Talk about some explaining to do.


Two things we can learn from this.  First, we need to actively be seeking Jesus.  Earlier in Matthew, Jesus tells us we will find Him when we seek Him (7:7-12).  Secondly, faith takes community. In Proverbs 27:17, we are told to sharpen each other like iron sharpens iron.  In Hebrews 10:24 and 1 Thesalonians 5:11, we are told to encourage each other into faith. Galatians 6:2, we are told to bear each others burdens.  Essentially, we can’t do this alone.


Life Application  Jesus, in a world that is increasingly private and afraid of intervening, help me to have the courage to intervene when I see a friend who needs help.  Help me to encourage those without faith. And when I need the strength of others, give me the courage and trust to reach out. Even though the vulnerability can bring me fear, I know your love casts out fear.  


-Tyler Galloway

Psalm _86



Psalm 86:15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.




Psalm 86 – a prayer of David. 




The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love!


Psalm 103:8


The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.


Psalm 145:8 


The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.


Jonah 4:2 


…for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.

The Lord, Yahweh, said this about himself when he met Moses on the mountain in all his POWER and MIGHT! These are the words he chose to identify himself.

Exodus 34:6


The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.”




But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.


When I think of all the craziness in my life, I think on this…

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.


When I seek forgiveness of my sins, my daily failures and shortcomings, I think on this…

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.


When I try to comprehend how I can heal from tragedy and trauma, I think on this…

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.


When I am filled with anger, rage, and sadness toward the people that have hurt me, I think on this…

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.


Deborah Lee 



Matthew 7: 7-8

7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened up to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.


As Jesus continues His sermon on the Mount, He stresses the importance of asking God to fill not only our every desire but also our needs. He even goes as far as to say that God is generous in giving and He gives to all. However, He places the initiative on us as God’s people and not on God chasing us down.


Just ask!

When I was younger and went to my auntie’s house for Christmas Eve there was always a plethora of desserts. They would magically appear as the night went on, and more and more would just miraculously show up. There was/are these one cookies that are there every year, and for as basic as they are they are the hottest commodity (the little Pilsbury cookies in case you were wondering). My cousin and his brothers would always run up to the cookies take a swift look around and quickly shove a cookie in their mouth, then a few in their pocket, and then run away. It became so much of a bit that they still do it, and they are in their teenage years now. I used to wonder to myself: “Why don’t they just ask their mom for some cookies? I’m sure she’d give it to them because it’s Christmas.” 

Fast forward bit to the fast of this year. As I sat and watched all the amazing things that God did in our church I though to myself, “Why can’t I have the courage to pray for people the way that this person does?” Or… “Why can’t I be as well-spoken in front of people as that person when speaking the Good News?” And even… “Why can’t a revival or renewal like the one in Acts happen today?” As I sat there thinking these questions I got a clear picture of my cousins stealing cookies. What we as believers have in common with my cousins, is the ability to ask. We become so afraid of the answer or outcome that we neglect to ask God in the first place.

However, Jesus offers an important proposition in this chapter: God doesn’t answer the door if He doesn’t hear any knocking. He won’t answer your prayer unless you formally ask Him. What is it that you want? Even though God already knows He wants to see the effort made by you as well. He wants to check the desires your heart, but He can only do that if you ask Him to. Our city is starved for answers right now and many are providing answers to questions only God can answer. I implore you to look deep inside yourselves and ask God first before mindlessly shoving cookies in your mouth. Don’t go taking the world’s answers before asking God first.

Isaiah 22:22 “…When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them.”

Life Application

God, help us to be people that trust you enough to ask you questions and to ask you for the desires of our heart. May we be a people bold enough to ask you for things like revival, healing, and and even courage. God I thank You that You are a gentleman, and You require a formal invitation before moving in power and grace. May more people ask for this power and grace and may You bring revival and healing in ways that only You can do. I pray for boldness in the hearts of people right now.

In Your name I pray,


-Allison Khan

Job 10

Job‬ ‭10:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
““I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.”
Observation-What does it say?
In verses 1-7, Job complains of his hardships.
In verses 8-13, He pleads with God as his Maker.
In verses 14-22, He complains of God’s severity.
(Reference: Matthew Henry’s Bible commentary-concise)
Understanding-What does it mean?
Job complained to God and God was listening.
Although Job complained, he never sinned because he never once accused God of NOT being good or righteous. In verses 8-13, Job is pleading with God as his Maker, which proves that he never lost his faith. Also, Job allowed God to speak back to him, which we will all read in the weeks ahead.
Life Application
Questioning God, being doubtful and complaining is NOT a sin. Sin is when we turn our backs completely against Him.
One thing I’ve had to work on in my marriage is not giving my husband the silent treatment when I’m upset. I’ve become a much better communicator throughout our 11 years of marriage, but Moses would get frustrated with me when I do that because he doesn’t know what he did wrong. He loves me and wants to be there for me. Turning my back against him and giving him the slient treatment is a form of rejection to my husband.
That’s how I view our relationship with God. Prayer to me just means communication with God. He loves us so much and would rather have us air out what’s on our minds and hearts, than to stop praying to Him completely and give Him the silent treatment. God can handle the good, bad and even ugly of our lives because He loves us. Also, unlike fallible human beings, He never changes and never makes mistakes. He is our Rock and stronghold and refuge and is NOT an insecure Father. Also, He knows it ALL already. It’s impossible to put up masks with God.
If you are not being honest with God with what’s truly going on in your heart, I encourage you to let down those walls and allow Him to speak back to You through His Word. As you continue reading through Job, you’ll see what a great listener God is, as His response to His child Job doesn’t come until the end of the book. God’s response is truly epic though, but I won’t give any spoiler alerts if you’ve never read Job’s story before.
Dear Lord, I pray that we would communicate with You 24-7, and allow You to communicate back with us. I pray for anyone who still feels like they have to have a wall up or a mask up with You, as if You don’t know everything already. I pray that no matter how we’re feeling, we would always meditate on the truth of Your Word, that You are good and righteous through it all. May our relationship with You just get stronger as a result of letting our guard down and letting You in completely. Amen.
-Michelle Gaddi



Matthew 5:4,6,14a,16b
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted….
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.


14 “You are the light of the world.

16 …let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.



This chapter, and the two that follow it, are a sermon; a famous sermon; the sermon upon the mount. It is the longest and fullest continued discourse of our Saviour that we have upon record in all the gospels. It is a practical discourse…

Excerpt from Matthew Henry Commentary of the Whole Bible: Matthew 5:



I’m sure like most people in Santa Clarita right now, everything brings you back to the incident that took place on Thursday…where, our city – typically known for better schools, great bike trails and Magic Mountain – became the most recent in the headlines for a school shooting. As a result, our entire city is in mourning.

It’s unlikely that anyone experiencing this mourning would consider themselves “blessed” in the mourning part of their feelings and I won’t project that we should find the “blessing” in this situation. There’s not one; our town if forever marked, people have permanently lost loved ones and students and parents who once felt safe are experiencing unexpected fear and anxiety.

However, as we continue to come together as a community, there is a focus on loving one another, providing comfort where we can. Now, as much as ever if not more, we are called to be God’s hands and feet – extending love, comfort, mercy, kindness…

Verse 14-16 says, we are the light of the world. It’s times like these where we need to shine brightest. Being cognizant of the need to seek God, get filled up so we can pour out his love, grace, kindness, mercy on those we meet.


Life Application

This is not a call to rush the mourning process. People grieve and mourn differently. People in/of/around our city have been impacted differently, are affected differently, experience emotion differently. May we give ourselves and those we encounter space to grieve, mourn, experience this tragic incident in the time and way they need…but may we also look as often as we can to be a light in the world – whether it be a lamp, a spotlight, a flickering candle, whatever the situation deems appropriate – to let people know they are seen and loved, not just by us but by God.

God, tragedies are always hard to comprehend; remind us that you are here with us now. Be with those who are questioning you. Be with those that are calling out to you. Be with those who feel betrayed by you. Be with those who are fearful. Be with those who feel broken. Continue to rebuild the pieces of our city, make your presence and power known. Fill us up and empty us out as many times as it takes to touch everyone in our community with your love. May we seek you, find you and love you even more in the process.


In your name we pray, Amen.



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

Job 8

Scripture:  Job 8:20-22   “Lo, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He [l]support the evildoers.  “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with shouting. “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, And the tent of the wicked will be no longer.”

Observation-What does it say?  After tragically losing everything he owns and experiencing the death of his children, Job is sitting in the counsel of those who claim to be his friends.  The first one to interject into the situation, Eliphaz, starts his plea to Job in a way many of us have heard before, “Don’t get mad bro, but…” Eliphaz then claims Job is being punished because he has helped people who were sinful.  Now in chapter eight, we hear Bildad’s argument against Job. Bildad comes right out with his belief and, in a nutshell, states, “Job, this calamity has happened to you because you are sinning.” Both Eliphaz and Bildad reasoned that God only allows bad people to experience bad circumstances.

Understanding-What does it mean?  Life, on a large scale, is full of cycles.  Take finances for example, about every ten to fifteen years there will be a cycle of recession and growth.  Having grown up with family in construction, I learned to look for this cycle. In good times, my dad would have work constantly, and in bad times, we would be lucky to be going from paycheck to paycheck.  So when I was a young adult and working in construction, right around 2006, I noticed the market was starting to turn towards recession and I got out of construction. When the recession hit in 2008, my wife and I took full advantage of it and bought a house in 2009.  But, I was a lucky one.

I remember reading newspaper articles about people who had lost so much money during the recession that they were taking drastic measures.  Many people I worked with had lost tens of thousands of dollars in the stock market and were working ungodly amounts of overtime to cover the loss.  Still others were willing to not only commit suicide, but also take the lives of their family because they believed there was no recovering from the loss.  Did any one individual that lost money in the recession cause that to happen?

When we face trying times, it can be tempting to have the first place we go to be anger and resentment towards God.  When we find that we have lost a job, gotten in an accident, or experienced the death of a family member, it is so common to ask, “What did I do?  Why are you doing this to me, God?” But, the answer isn’t always in figuring out where we sinned to deserve such treatment. Often times, we are asking the wrong question all together.

One verse that I have struggled with during my life is James 1:2 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,”  But the more and more I work through trying times, whether it be an accident and injury, trying situations at work, sickness, or a period where my kids are being a royal pain in the neck for no reason, I am learning that there can be joy found in these things.  I am also learning not to ask “what did I do?”, or “why me?”, but rather, “what are you saying to me, Lord?”
In chapter 2, when Job’s wife was trying to give him counsel, he responds to her by saying, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”  If we echo that into what James was saying in chapter 1:3-4, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”, we will find that trying times are not necessarily a sign of God’s wrath, but a sign of His love.  He allows us to go through hard times, so that we will grow closer to him, becoming more complete as we draw closer and closer to being with him in heaven.

Life Application:  Jesus be near to my heart.  Help me to accept the bad with the good.  Never let my heart turn away from an opportunity to worship you.  Help me to sing like the old hymn, “It is well with my soul.” No matter the circumstance, help me to ask, “What are you saying to me?”  Help me to know that you are near, even when I am in distress.

-Tyler Galloway

Matthew _3


Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”


John the Baptist had just baptized Jesus. 

Matthew 3:13-16 

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.


Jesus didn’t need to be baptized by John, Jesus didn’t need to repent for his sins, he was without sin. 

He was here as Immanuel, God with us. 

He was here fully human, identifying with us.

So why did Jesus get baptized?

He was our example to follow. 

John 13:13-16

“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”


God is pleased with his Son. And so… I should want to do everything the Son does. If I follow his example then just maybe I will hear those words said over me… 

This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well pleased.

Father, thank you for your Son! Holy Spirit empower us, fan the flame that causes a burning desire to follow and cleave unto Jesus. I neeeeed to look like him! To act like him, to love like him, and speak like him! Help me to carry my cross, that I would decrease and he would increase! He knows the way to your heart, the perfect way to follow after you! In the name of Jesus, Amen! 
Deborah Lee

Psalm 80



Psalm ‭80:3


“Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.”

Observation-What does it say?
The author of this psalm, (Asaph), is pleading to God to show His glory, reveal His mighty hand, and rescue Israel from the constant sorrow and oppression they are in. As a matter of fact, the author uses this same exact verse three times in this chapter (verses 3, 7, and 19)! To me, it shows the seriousness of their situation. It shows the desperation and need of Israel to have a spiritual revival and awakening. One so great that it can turn the tides of their situation in a way that the people repent from their sinfulness towards God and never look back.
Understanding-What does it mean?
There are two “A’s” needed for a revival to happen: Admission and Acceptance.
In order for Israel to make change in their situation, they needed these two “A’s” to happen in their lives. They needed to Admit their wrong doings, and they needed to Accept the fact that they cannot do it alone and they need God’s guidance and help. The fact that they turned their backs on God, and tried to do things their way is what caused them to be in the situation they were in. Now don’t get me wrong, they are still God’s children, His chosen ones, but there are still consequences for their sinful actions. We serve a God who is just, but He is also gracious and forgiving. Israel needs to turn back to God, rely on His strength, and not their own, and then God will reveal His presence and power in their lives.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”-‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭
“I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy.”
Habakkuk‬ ‭3:2‬
Life Application
Are you in need of a revival?..Seek God first!
Father God I pray for revival in this world. I pray for a spiritual awakening. I pray that this world sees its faults, admits their mistakes, and accepts your invitation in their lives. May You reveal Yourself in a way that changes their lives for the better Lord. May we all see that we can’t do it alone…We need YOU! May Your people stand in the gaps for their loved ones, neighbors, and friends. May we unite to pray for their salvation. May You bring the change this world so desperately needs. In Your Holy and precious Name I pray, Amen.
-Moses Gaddi

Job 5

Scripture   “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.”

Job 5:8 NIV

Observation-What does it say?  

Eliphaz the Temanite, Job’s friend, was trying to comfort his friend through his suffering, but failed miserably. In this chapter, the encouragement he was offering assumed a few things about Job’s situation:

  1. Job did something wrong and God is correcting/disciplining him. (Verse 17)
  2. Job’s faith is not strong enough. (Verse 8)
  3. Blessing is associated with outward blessings, not inward renewal. (Verses 24-25)-Side note: Eliphaz needed to hear Pastor’s sermon on Sunday. 

Understanding-What does it mean?  

There are times when the innocent must suffer, but for a greater purpose to bring God glory, not because they did something wrong or as a consequence of sin.

In Job’s case, God allowed Job to suffer because He trusted him to remain blameless and faithful through it all. The devil was trying to challenge God on His servant, but God was so confident in His servant, so he allowed him to suffer.

Life Application  

Don’t bring suffering upon yourself by disobeying God. It is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil. 

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.” 1 Peter 3:13-14a

For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17    

If you were to go through your life from the past to today, what would you attribute most of your suffering to? Sin or Innocence?  

There are times where suffering is a direct result of sin. The Bible speaks on this. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden because they ate the fruit. King David and Bathsheba lost their son because of their affair and because David killed her husband. Moses didn’t get to see the promised land because he hit the rock for water, instead of speak to it like God commanded him to. Abraham had to banish his first born, Ishmael from his life. He was not conceived the right way, through his wife Sarah, as God promised and his descendants were not going to come through him.  

The Bible also has countless examples of how the innocent must suffer, such as Job when he lost his home, possessions, family, health and even compassion/faith from wife and friends; Jesus when He was mocked, beaten, betrayed by closest friends, separated from the Father on our behalf; Jesus’ disciples when all, but John, were martyred for their faith; King David when he was surrounded by enemies (completely separate from the consequences of his sin); Joseph, when he was sold into slavery by his brothers because of their jealousy, etc. In all these situations, God was with these men (except for Jesus when He had to turn His face from Him on the cross due to our sin), and the purpose was to bring honor and glory to His name.

Dear Lord, when I stand face to face with you on judgment day, I pray that most of my suffering would be because I was innocent, not because I did something wrong against You. In all situations, You always turn things around for Your good, however, if I don’t have to suffer for doing bad, then why pursue that? Holy Spirit, I pray that You would guard my mind and heart for Your purposes alone. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm 78:5-7

He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.


  1. He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel: Using poetic repetition for style and emphasis, Asaph described first one of the greatest of God’s wonderful works(Psalm 78:4) – the giving of God’s word to Israel.
    1. Centuries later the Apostle Paul would explain that one of the great advantages God gave to Israel was that He committed to them His word, the oracles of God (Romans 3:2).
  2. That they should make them know to their children: Then and now, God gives His word that it would be transmittedto following generations. In theory, the revelation of God’s word can perish or become utterly irrelevant if not passed on to the next generation.
    1. “Through Moses he had commanded all Israelites, regardless of tribal descent, to instruct their children at home (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 20-22; cf. Exodus 10:2; 12:26-27; 13:8).” (Van Gemeren)
  3. That they may arise and declare them to their children: Not only should our children be taught, they should be taught to teach their childrenso that the word and the work of God continue throughout the generations.
    1. Five generations appear to be mentioned above: 1. Fathers; 2. Their children; 3. The generation to come; 4. And their children; 5. And their children. They were never to lose sight of their history throughout all their generations.” (Clarke)
  4. That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God: The goal of communicating to the next generation is so that they would learn to trust God for themselves, never forgetting His wonderful works.

The above is taken from


I think you can summarize the above into just a few sentences…

Not only should our children be taught, they should be taught to teach their children so that the word and the work of God continue throughout the generations…that they may set their hope in God and…learn to trust God for themselves, never forgetting His wonderful works.

I think my most favorite part of it is “In theory, the revelation of God’s word can perish or become utterly irrelevant if not passed on to the next generation.”

I think the “in theory” part is most critical and my most favorite because as we see later in the chapter, God’s plans will not be derailed and He’ll engage those that are willing – even if not how it was or who was expected

65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
    as a warrior wakes from the stupor of wine.
66 He beat back his enemies;
    he put them to everlasting shame.
67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph,
    he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah,
    Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 He built his sanctuary like the heights,
    like the earth that he established forever.
70 He chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
    with skillful hands he led them.

Life Application

God, may I not miss out on what you have planned in and through me.  May I recognize “the great advantages [You have given] to [me]…that [You] committed to [me] [Your] word.”

May I take that to heart and share Your goodness with everyone I meet…but especially my family, my children, the generation(s) to come…so they may be able to set their hearts and their hope in You.


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