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!
 

Proverbs_29

Scripture

Proverbs 29:18a

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;

Observation – What does it say?

As Solomon continues to share the wisdom God has given him, he points out that when revelation is absent, so is restraint.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Several other versions translate “revelation” to “vision.” When you have a vision or a revelation of something you are pursuing, you limit your options. Consider fitness for example. If I want 6 pack abs, I am going to place some restraints on my diet; there are parts of the menu I’m not going to order from anymore. Sleeping in is no longer an option because I am going to go to the gym. If I begin to lose sight of that vision for that physique, I will start to get lazy and cast off the restrictions I’ve put on myself. And, in turn begin to drift farther and farther from what I once wanted. Likewise, we have vision of a better financial situation so we discipline ourselves to go to work and refrain from making certain purchases. Or we have a vision of attending a certain college so we sacrifice time with friends and other interests to study and make sure we get good grades in high school.

The same is true of following Jesus. If we have no idea of God’s vision for our lives, there is no motivation to discipline ourselves to do anything. When I read about people in the Bible who had these amazing encounters with God and who God used to do incredible things, I get a vision for what’s possible in my own life. And, the passion that is awakened to experience the same things drives me to sacrifice sleep, social media and other things to spend time with God. Coming to church is no longer an option. Sharing the love of God with others, even those I don’t particularly enjoy, is what I choose. And I do these things voluntarily because I am compelled by this vision of knowing God intimately and being used by him to bring many people to know him!

Life Application

Take some time to prayerfully consider God’s vision for my life.

God, please fill us with fresh revelation and passion for the vision you have for our lives. As a church, you’ve given us a vision to create a great commission movement – a movement of people who have given themselves fully to bringing people into saving relationship with you and teaching them to follow you. May we grow in our faith and excitement around that vision and do whatever it takes to attain it! Amen.

– Levi Thompson



Proverbs_28

Scripture
 
Proverbs‬ ‭28:24‬ ‭NLT
 
“Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s wrong with that?” is no better than a murderer.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Another one of King Solomon’s wise sayings that runs deeper than you think. If a person is willing to justify stealing from the very people who has brought them life, provision, guidance, and unconditional love, what else are they willing to do to others? King Solomon says that they are no better than murderers! Ouch!
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
 
Who has the audacity to cheat or steal from their own parents and believes they did nothing wrong? Talk about total disrespect! Your parents are the people who have raised you, cared for you, met your every need, and loved you unconditionally. We should know better than that! Yet here we are with our sense of entitlement, believing we deserve it, and are willing to take from anyone who gets in our path. That’s cold blooded!
 
It can go the same way with God, our Spiritual Father in Heaven. He has given us so much. Yet we feel we deserve more. And so we cheat Him. We will even find ways to justify it to make it seem we’re in the right. We can find ourselves saying things like “I don’t need to tithe this month. I have too many bills to pay off.” Or “I don’t need to go to church today, I just finished a really busy week, and I just need to sleep in and rest.” It’s this kind of mindset that can hinder our relationship with God. But if we take a moment to think about it, isn’t it because of God that I’m able to wake up every day and have the strength to go to work and finish off a work week? Isn’t it in His commandments to honor the Sabbath? Doesn’t everything I have and own belong to God anyway? Why try to take and take from the One who gives and gives? God gave me His very best in Jesus to free me from my sins. That is more than enough for me.😊
 
Life Application
 
Be grateful for all the things God has given me.
 
Father God, thank You for being such a great provider. Thank You for Your unconditional love, Your grace, mercy, and Your willingness to forgive freely. Please forgive me if I ever took advantage of Your kindness and the way You forgive so freely. Forgive me for ever trying to cheat You with my time and money. It all belongs to You and it’s all because of You I am where I am. I love You Lord. I dedicate my life to You to honor what You continue to do for me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Deuteronomy_24

Scripture

Deuteronomy 24:17-22 NIV

“Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this. When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.”

Observation-What does it say?

Moses is speaking to the Israelites and giving them rules as a means of setting them apart to the Lord, who delivered them from their bondage to slavery in Egypt. In this section of the chapter, he was instructing them to show compassion to the fatherless, foreigner and widow; the same compassion that God had shown them.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Remember where we came from and what we truly deserved in order to appreciate the undeserved gift we’ve received and share it with others. 

One of my professors in Bible college said that the only thing we deserve in life is hell. Whenever we feel entitled, selfish and focused on what we don’t have, we need to remember what we ultimately deserve, but was graciously saved from. Whenever I feel tempted to become upset with the Lord when things don’t go my way or I start feeling entitled like I deserve more, I always think about the greatest Gift He’s given me.  That never fails to bring me back to a humble and grateful state.

I’ve really been enjoying Pastor’s current sermon series on Ruth. On Sunday, we discussed how there was a parallel between Boaz and Jesus and a parallel between Ruth and us. Boaz was a man of high standing who could have had any woman, however, he chose Ruth, a woman from another country, no prestige, and nothing to offer. Boaz chose her, invited her to his table, protected her and provided for her. She didn’t do anything to deserve his favor, but he still gave it to her.

Life Application 

Remembering how Christ had chosen and saved us, how will that make us in turn treat the fatherless, foreigner and widow? AKA sinners, the lonely and forgotten in society?

Our mission at DSC is to multiply Christ followers everywhere. We are not able to do that by only associating with those we are comfortable with who are clean, righteous, and already have Jesus. I am reminded that Jesus came for the sick, not the righteous. I am reminded that He ate with tax collectors and sinners. I am reminded that He died for sinners like you and I. As a result, let’s go out into the world, out of our place of comfort and pray for, invest in and invite the mentally ill, drug addicted, homeless, poor, widows, orphans, sinners and allow the Lord’s grace to change them from the inside out. As Ive heard it been said, “At the foot of the Cross, we are all the same.” Without the grace of God, we would all be alone, lost, and broken. Without God’s willingness to reach out to foreigners like us, we would all be doomed to one dark fate. 

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your amazing grace. I pray that Your Holy Spirit would continue to lead us to connect to the Father like You do, love others like You do, forgive like You do, serve like You do and reach out like You do in order to multiply Christ followers everywhere. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi



1 Timothy_6

Scripture

1 Timothy 6:11-12

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.  12 Fight the good fight of the faith.  Toke hold of the eternal life to which you were called…

Observation

Paul, writing to Timothy, begins Chapter 6 with lessons of respect, servanthood and warning against the love of money.  Then, he submits his final charge.

Understanding

I love what Pastor Gary shared yesterday about us being called to be “agents of grace.”  Ruth is a tremendous example of what Paul writes here – faithful, full of love, having endured loss.  She was an example of fighting the good fight of faith.  Looking at the circumstances, it may have been easy to fall into a “woe is me” type of outlook – she lost her husband, was a foreigner in an unknown land, a lone woman left to care for herself and for Naomi. 

This charge and Ruth’s example are good for all of us.  A reminder of what it means to live out true faith, trust in God, knowing that He will provide…resting and working in His love.  We may be living in similar times – where the world around us is doing what is right in their own eyes; but we are called to set ourselves apart, to share God’s grace and love…even with those that may make it challenging. 

Life Application

Make this charge my own.  Fight the good fight of the faith. 

God, I’ve been distracted lately.  And I think that’s as much of the fight of faith as anything – remaining focused on you and what you’ve called me to do.  Help me to fight the good fight of faith with endurance – pursuing righteousness and godliness, showing love and gentleness.

In your name, I pray.  Amen. 

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


1 Timothy_5

Scripture
 
1 Timothy 5:25
 
“Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.”
‭‭
Observation-What does it say?
 
In this part of Paul’s letter to Timothy, he is giving him advice on how to address the behavior of different groups within the church. He paints a picture of acceptable and appropriate ways to live.  He wraps it up by giving a reminder that the way we live, our reputation, is usually what people hear about us first. So we ought to seek to live in a way to bring honor to God.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Recently I have been attempting to simplify a lot of the aspects of my life.  The goal is to get rid of things that bring more stress, and ultimately distract me from Jesus, than what they are worth.  Where I run into problems with this attempt is in actually letting anything go that has “sentimental” value, or if I think there is any possibility of it being remotely useful in the future.  Which is why I have a 1975 Honda motorcycle sitting on the side of my house, rusting, not doing anything.
 
I have struggled to make my actions line up with my intentions. Similarly, I can struggle making my daily faith actions line up with how Christ has called me to live.  This can be especially frustrated by the culture we live in, which seems to have no care for prudent behavior. 
 
God has called us to higher purpose.  Our behavior is to line up with his purpose, which is to share His love and saving grace with the world around us.  Jesus directed us in much the same way saying, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.””
‭‭John‬ ‭13:35‬
 
Life Application
 
Jesus help me to have endurance past Monday morning, because following you gets way harder after Sunday.  Help me to see the person next to me as someone in need of your love.  Grant me the humility to ask for forgiveness when I have sinned against you.
 
-Tyler Galloway 


Deuteronomy_21

Scripture

Deuteronomy 21:20-21

20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Observation – What does it say?

In our culture today, we see a rebellious child and say, “It’s just a season” or “I’m praying it doesn’t last long and that he comes around.” They may experience discipline from parents, but the worst they’ll experience is probably getting kicked out of the house. Before Jesus came on the scene, the culture in Israel was completely different. If your parents believed you to be rebellious and disobedient, God had commanded that they bring you before the town to be put to death. 

Understanding – What does it mean?

The disobedient who are stubborn and won’t change will eventually die in their sin.

God is passionate about purity and holiness. Pure means there isn’t a trace of other elements mixed in (think pure gold).  God desires his people to be set apart to him, pure in their love for him and obedience to his commands. One rebellious child, unwilling to change their ways, was enough to taint the community and so must be removed. Without the potential of serious consequence, people would be much more quick to rebel and be disobedient.

As I read this though, it was something else that struck me: The contrast between this account and the story Jesus told of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Rather than killing his rebellious son, the Father agrees to give him his inheritance. When he shared this story, I imagine his Jewish audience thinking of this law for rebellious and disobedient children, expecting somehow for this story to end in the rebellious son reaping deadly consequences. But there is a major plot twist when the rebellious son comes home and confesses his sin. Instead of punishment he received his Father’s embrace, a welcome back into the family and a party thrown in his honor. God’s love is so incredible it’s shocking!

But, does this mean the God of the Old Testament is different from the God in the New Testament? Like God had a change of heart? No. 

He has always been the same. He has always been serious about purity and also serious about love and grace and mercy. If he stopped caring about purity and holiness he wouldn’t have had to send his Son Jesus to die. Those who are rebellious and disobedient and who never repent (turn from sin to God) will eventually die in their sin. The consequence in Deuteronomy of physical death is nothing compared to the consequence of eternal separation from God in Hell for those who don’t turn from sin. But, if we will repent and come back to God like the prodigal son, there is forgiveness and love and an embrace unlike any other!

Life Application

Worship God for his love and grace that he lavished on me when I turned from my sin toward him!

God, thank you so much for your love and grace! May we never lose sight of where we were when you found us and never forget that we deserve death! You have been so good to me and owe me nothing, yet you continue to bless me. Thank you. I love you. Amen.
 
– Levi Thompson


Proverbs_23

Scripture
 
Proverbs‬ ‭23:4-5‬ ‭
 
“Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
King Solomon warns people about chasing earthly riches. King Solomon knows the “Big Picture” here. He knows that our time here on earth is just temporary; that you can’t bring those riches with you when you die. And that at any given moment it can be all taken away from you. So don’t let greed get a hold of you. Be content with what you have and focus your attention on more important things.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Where are my priorities?
 
Where is all my time and efforts being spent in life? Is it chasing after that American dollar and the American dream, (big house, fancy car, and extravagant “toys”)? Or is it chasing after the mission that God has called me to do (helping others in need and multiplying Christ Followers everywhere)?
 
In my workplace, they hand out overtime like it’s candy. Then you will have co-workers fighting over who gets to work it. They all want to make more money. They are all willing to step on each other to get it too! And for what?! It seems the more they make, the more they spend. And at what cost?! The more time they spend at work, that’s less time they get to spend with their family. But they all look at me like I’m the crazy one whenever I turn down the opportunity to work the overtime. But for me, being a Christian is all about trusting God. Trusting that if I put Him first in everything in life, He will take care of the rest.
 
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew‬ ‭6:33
 
Yes, I am thankful that God has blessed me with a job that offers overtime and opportunities to make a little extra money to help out around the house, but I’m also aware that God doesn’t want me to lose my focus (on Him) while doing so.  I will work to make a living and even work overtime at times to bring in a little extra, but I do whatever it takes not to neglect my time with God, His family, and my family when doing so and I believe God has been faithful to me because of it.😊
 
Life Application
 
Building God’s Kingdom, not mine.
 
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:19-21‬ ‭
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


Proverbs_22

Scripture

Proverbs 22:15 

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

Observation-What does it say?

King Solomon continues with sharing his wisdom in Proverbs. King Solomon was King David’s son. I believe that many of his wise counsel came from personal experience, including things his father and/or mother taught him, especially with this verse related to children.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Based on this proverb from God’s Word, children are not born innocent. They are actually born foolish. This is why discipline is necessary. This is why God gave children parents; it was not just to provide for their basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing, but also to love them and teach them the right way they should go. The only command with a promise in the Word of God is for children to honor and obey their parents. The promise is that life will go well for our children as they trust and obey our wise counsel.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.””
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Prov. 22:6

Life Application

We may no longer be children based on our age in the world’s eyes, but we are still children; children of the King of kings. Therefore, we must take discipline and correction seriously and learn from it.

My favorite line in the hymn “Come thou fount” says, We are prone to wander. We need the guidance of our Heavenly Father, His Holy Spirit, His Word and other Spirit filled people to keep us on the straight and narrow path. We must be willing to accept Truth spoken over our lives and be humble enough to accept it instead of getting defensive about it.

Proverbs 22:4-“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life”

Proverbs 12:1-“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”

Proverbs 15:31-33-“Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor.”
‭‭
Dear Lord, thank You that You adopted us into Your family and we are Your children. I pray that we would always come to You with child like faith and humility. I pray we would trust and obey Your Word and also trust the authority and leaders You have placed over us to submit to. May we continually pray for our fellow parents who are raising children and also leaders who keep watch over us and who will be giving an account for our lives in Heaven. May their work be a joy and not a burden (Heb. 13:7). I pray for fruit from our labors whether we are parents, spouses, ministry leaders, Pastors or all of the above. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi
 


1 Timothy_1

Scripture

1 Timothy 1:15-16

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 

 Observation-What does it say?

Believed to be written by Paul to Timothy – a “younger colleague and delegate” – 1st Timothy was written with instruction and encouragement.  Instruction for the organization of the church as well as encouragement. 

Understanding-What does it mean?

The first thing that stands out to me on this verse is his humility.  There’s long been an assumption about Christians that we are all “holier than thou,” self-righteous and highly judgmental.  Here we are reminded just how important it is to recognize that we, too, are sinners, recognize the gifts of mercy and grace and – perhaps most importantly – LIVE IT OUT in a way that exemplifies Christ Jesus…for the ultimate win of their salvation.  

 Life Application

Be humble. 

Share God’s love and my testimony – because it’s relatable and it’s a first hand example of God’s mercy and grace. 

God, thank you for choosing to partner with me – a lowly sinner – to share your grace and mercy to those I meet.  May I see the people I encounter through your eyes. May I be open, honest, real…but most of all humble and overflowing with your love!  And may it plant a seed and/or lead to an encounter with you. 

 In your name, I pray.  Amen.

 -Rei

 PS More goodness is found in Proverbs 21:21

 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
    finds life, prosperity[c] and honor.

May we pursue righteousness and love today – GO LOVE ON SOMEBODY! <3

 



2 Thessalonians_3

Scripture  

2 Thessalonians 3:10 

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

Observation-What does it say? 

Thessalonica was in the northern part of Greece, and was the second most prominent city during this time.  In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul stressed the need to work.  He does so again here, with even more urgency.  The political and social culture at the time looked with disdain at those who worked with their hands.  Therefore, there were those who would sponge off the generosity of other Christians.  Apparently, when the Thessalonians learned that Jesus was going to return, the idleness increased instead of decreased.  He reminds them that there was no example of this in his life.  

Understanding-What does it mean?

I was never much of a student.  I struggled in pretty much every subject that they threw at me, except for lunch and phys-ed.  But even though I struggled in school, I could tell you exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I would answer the question emphatically with, “A COWBOY! Or a carpenter, but definitely a cowboy.”  As I got a little bit older, I realized there was a certain limit to me becoming a cowboy, being that I grew up in Southern California, and had never really visited a farm, or ridden a horse for that matter.  So I followed in my family’s footsteps and started work as a carpenter shortly after high school.  While I have at times ventured into the world of academia, I have always felt more at home being a part of the working class.

I think our present culture is not too different from what the Christians in Thessalonica were facing.  There seems to be a general distaste for the work at hand and available.  I have often felt jealous of the people who had the more desirable jobs, that came with the nice air-conditioned office, and the fat paycheck.  “Must be nice to have what they have.”  I have coveted the nice car, and the big house.

But when I read through the bible, it becomes more and more evident to me that God does not care about the type of work I do.  Instead he cares about the heart in which I do my work.  Not only that, he cares about the good I do with the resources he has provided to me through my job.  Proverbs is rife with examples of the goodness of work.  For example, Proverbs 16:26 reminds us that our hunger can drive our will to work.  In Proverbs 18:9 we learn that a person lazy in their work is just as bad as someone who destroys the work of another.  And in Colossians 3:23, Paul reminds us to do our work as if our boss were God himself.  

Life Application

Jesus help me to remember that the job I hold was provided for me by you.  And the proceeds of that job are also yours.  I will not forget to give to you the portion you ask.  In return, I ask for good health so I can daily praise you in the workplace.  

-Tyler Galloway