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!



Philemon 1:9-10  yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.

Observation-What does it say?  

The author of this letter is clearly stated as none other than Paul.  It was written to Philemon, who is a slave owner and a member of the church in Colossae.  Paul, writing this letter on behalf of Onesimus, is making an appeal for his forgiveness.  Onesimus, a former slave of Philemon, “had apparently stolen from him and then run away, which under Roman law was punishable by death” (Zondervan NASB Study Bible, 1999).  In writing the letter, Paul took his time getting to the point, using the first portion of the letter to appeal to Onesimus’ lighter side.  After establishing rapport, Paul then makes his request, the forgiveness of wrong doing.

Understanding-What does it mean?  

Most of my life, I have tried to be self-reliant.  I have always wanted to be the kind of person that doesn’t need to rely on anyone else.  There are, I’m sure, a number of deep seated reasons from my childhood, of which I should probably seek counseling for, that bring this feeling about.  But, regardless of where it comes from, more often than I should, I try to be the stoic who puts his nose to the grindstone and just continues on, instead of asking for help.

That was, until I found myself in a position at work where I was in need of an advocate.  In my field, wrongs doings are documented and not quickly forgotten.  So after committing a violation of policy, I accepted my punishment and attempted to carry on as if that were the end of it.  I quickly found out the importance of having an advocate.  As I attempted to put in for transfers, special assignments, and collateral duties, I was met with the same answer on many occasions, “We would like to have you, but you have discipline in your background.”  After hearing this for about the tenth time (I’m a slow learner), I realized the importance of having an advocate, someone to vouch for your personality, work ethic, and sometimes your remorse.

Paul was acting as Onesimus’ advocate, in much the same way Jesus acts as our advocate to our father.  Jesus, in his humility, suffered greatly on the cross to ensure our debt of sin was payed.  He then approaches The Father as our advocate, realizing that we cannot speak for ourselves and ensuring we have an audience with God.  

At work, I had to humble myself, change my pig headed ways, and ask for someone to vouch for me in order to move past a failure.  In life, I have to humble myself, change my pig headed ways, and ask Jesus to completely cover all of my sin.  In Micah 7:18-19 we read, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Life Application  

Jesus, I want to run to you before it’s too late.  When I have made a wrong turn, help me to run to you who is quick to forgive and delights in mercy.  Help me to also act as an advocate for the lost and hurting, in order to help show the love that you have poured out on me.
-Tyler Galloway

2 Chronicles_16


2 Chronicles 16:9 “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”


2 Chronicles 16:1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from entering or leaving King Asa’s territory in Judah.
King Asa decided to seek out the King of Aram for help instead of calling on the LORD their God. Even though the situation looked grim God wanted him to call out to Him. 

He would have saved them, he would have given them victory. 


He is committed to us. 
OMG! Sometimes it feels like life is so hard, one thing after another. Sometimes we have victories that are quick, and obvious that the Lord came through for us. 
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…”
The NKJV says it this way, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

In our prosperity and in our poverty.

In our health and sickness.

In our good times and bad times. 

He is looking for those who are seeking hard after him. 


My soul will cling to you and you will uphold me. Ps. 63:8

Father, your are good and you are my champion. Forgive me for turning to other things to save me from my problems, from my distress. I am committed to you. I will cling to you, for my life depends on it. I will cling to you, because I am yours and you are mine. I will cling to you, because you are the only help I will ever need. Oh Father, when you are looking throughout the earth, let your eyes see me! In Jesus name, Amen. 

Deborah Lee


Titus‬ ‭2:7
“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.”
Observation-What does it say?
Paul is the mentor to Titus. Titus is a young pastor on the island of Crete. Titus needs help starting up churches on Crete and Paul is there to encourage him, and disciple him along the way. Paul understands the difficulty ahead for Titus, but he encourages the young pastor to stand strong, speak boldly the Word of God, and he gives Titus a practical plan for strengthening and bringing order to the churches. Paul knows Titus will be effective in his ministry, as long as he stands strong in Christ.
Understanding-What does it mean? 
Do life together.
Don’t you think it’s great that a young pastor like Titus didn’t have to attack such a daunting task, and figure things out on his own? Isn’t it nice to be able to get counsel and advice from someone who has “been there, done that?” Isn’t it nice to have someone to do life with and help you with your faith along life’s struggles?
Living the Christian life is not meant to be done alone. It’s about relationships. Our relationship with Jesus, and our relationships with others. We all know the challenges that life brings. ‬ ‭And we surely know that the enemy is just waiting to jump on any opportunity to catch us when our guard is down. The enemy will lie, cheat, and steal his way into our lives if we are not careful and strong with our faith. That is why it’s SO important to surround ourselves with fellow believers; people who can encourage you, pray for you, and help you grow in your walk with God. God wants to put these people of faith in your lives to help strengthen and mature you in your faith.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”-‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭27:17‬ ‭NLT
So stay sharp and stay strong in Christ Jesus! Be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to protecting ourselves from the lies and attacks from the enemy. Surround ourselves with people who have the same goals and the same beliefs. Be there for one another. Pray, encourage, and help each other through life’s struggles. Praise and worship together as God brings you through “life’s ringer” and shapes and molds you into who He wants you to be.
Life Application
Join a small group, be discipled, or find someone you can disciple.
Before I arrived at DSC, I was one of those Christians who thought I can do life on my own. It was Jesus and I against the world. All I had to do was go to church on Sunday mornings, maybe just watch church on tv for a half an hour, and I was good. I didn’t need to be part of serving in ministry. I didn’t need to attend a small group and make my schedule even more busy. My time was precious. But you know what? I wasn’t growing as a Christian. I was struggling with the same things over and over. The people I hung out with weren’t Christians, so they would just laugh at me if I opened up to them. I was a loner of some sort in need of refreshing.
Enter my life at DSC. I began serving in ministry, became a leader in ministry, joined a small group, and even discipled someone. My schedule was packed! And as tired as I was from work and having kids, I made time for these things in my life. I may not have felt like going to some of these things at the time, but believe it or not, I actually walked away from them refreshed! I felt a sense of fulfillment. I now have friends who are Christ Followers like me! I can turn to them for prayer and encouragement, and I know they can do the same with me. I’m able to share my life’s experiences with someone a little younger, in hopes they don’t make the same mistakes I made. What joining a small group, being discipled, and discipling someone has done for me is given me a sense of purpose. It helps me stay connected to God and His people. It helps me make sure I’m walking the path God has chosen for me. In doing so, it has strengthened my relationship with Jesus, and has made me into the man I am today.
So I just want to take the time to encourage those of you who aren’t part of something like Paul and Titus, or something like I have been a part of here at DSC, to come in and join! Be part of something bigger than ourselves. Be part of a family that you can do life together with. Be part of God’s family. 
-Moses Gaddi


Titus 1:1-4
1 This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. 2 This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began. 3 And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him. 4 I am writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share.
Observation-What does it say?
This is a letter from Paul to Titus. Paul is reminding Titus of the vision of the ministry and why he left him on the island of Crete. Titus’ job was to complete the work that they both started by appointing elders in each town there. Paul also mentored him by telling him what to look for in an elder.
Understanding-What does it mean?
Paul continues to mentor young leaders and Pastors even while away from them. Timothy was one of his protégés and now we are reading a letter written to Titus, who he describes as his “true son in the faith that we share (verse 4).”
Life Application
Are you discipling and/or being discipled by someone?
Discipleship is at the heart of ministry here at DSC. Everything we do is an excuse for discipleship. In one of my previous posts, I shared that if we are a Christ follower, we are already a couple steps ahead of someone who does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Our testimony points to how we came to know and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and also how we were baptized.
It is also important to be discipled by someone a couple of steps ahead of ourselves. I have several people that I mentor and disciple, but I also have a discipler for myself. She keeps me accountable in my own walk in the Lord, she prays for me and I get advice and wisdom from her on things she has already experienced in the faith that I haven’t or am currently struggling with. I love my discipler and can’t imagine life without her!
Let’s be on mission for Jesus and multiply Christ followers everywhere through discipleship! Let’s actually live out our call of Matthew 28:19-20-“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm 19:1-4

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.[a]
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.


David’s at it again, this time finding God in the everyday.


As a lover of sunsets and sunrises and nature in general, I find myself often (like David) seeing the Creator in the creation. 

The beauty of the sky is seen the world over – showing God’s creativity, his love for beauty, the expanse of his touch – whether in the colors painted across dawn or dusk or the stars that light up the night as far as the eyes can see.  All of these are a reminder of our Father – the ultimate artist – and the one who calls us His, the one who finds us valuable, the one who loves us to our core…and, like Levi shared yesterday, the one who created us with a plan, a purpose, a God-given destiny in mind!

Life Application

God, as I see you all around me every day, may I be reminded that I’m not here on this earth for my own selfish whims, not to just take in life as it comes…but, instead, I was created with intentional and purpose, filled with gifts from you, that your finger prints are in every detail and all is for your honor and your glory. 

14 May the words of my mouth
    and the meditation of my heart

be pleasing to you,…

And may I live out that purpose today and every day that follows! 

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

2 Timothy_3


2 Timothy 3:1 

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

Observation-What does it say? 

Paul is writing this second letter to Timothy from prison.  He had been released, but, then under the rule of Nero was imprisoned again.  This time, instead of being held in house arrest, was in a dungeon with little access to the outside world.  Realistically, Paul is looking at the end of his life coming to an end and he may be writing a goodbye letter to Timothy, with whom he held a relationship like a father and son.  At this time, Paul’s only crime is that he has proclaimed the word of God, and Jesus as the Messiah. “That “the last days” in this passage does not refer only to the time just prior to Christ’s return is apparent from Paul’s command to Timmothy to have nothing to do with the unbelieving and unfaithful people who characterize this time (v. 5).” (Kruidenier, W., Zondervan NASB Study Bible, 1999)   

Understanding-What does it mean?  

One of the highlights of almost every year of my childhood was going to church camp.  From about seven years old, through the end of high school, I looked forward to the week of adventure away from my parents.  As the saying goes, “What happens at camp, stays at camp”… or maybe that wasn’t camp.  I still look at those weeks with fondness and a longing to go back. 

When I got older, I got to be a part of the junior high and high school camp, which was amazing.  The high school camp had a way better campus which included archery and a ropes course.  One of the obstacles in the ropes course was called “The Centurion.”  The centurion was a pine tree, which you climbed 100 feet off the ground, on these four inch steps, to a platform that was four feet wide and four feet long.  And if that isn’t bad enough, they tell you to jump off the platform to a trapeze that is tethered between two trees.  

Despite my terrible fear of heights, I decided I had to do this obstacle.  It was extremely fun climbing up, because I never looked down at the ground.  But, when I stood up on the platform and took the time to look at what I had accomplished, I suddenly remembered I was afraid of heights.  And just like that, I lost complete trust of two things, the safety harness I was wearing and the person holding the rope attached to the safety harness.  After several minutes of complete panic, I remembered that I had seen about ten people ahead of me make it to the ground safely.

Often, I react to life this way.  I ask God to take me to places I have never been.  I tell him I want to trust Him and pray for amazing things to happen in life.  But, when I take a minute to look around, realizing that I need to trust God for things like finances, safety, and health, I go into complete panic mode.  But time and time again in scripture, God tells us “I got this.”  He has seen countless people go through these fears before, and He has brought them to Him.  No matter what happens here on earth, once this life passes, if I am faithful to God’s word, I will see him in the afterlife.  In Matthew 10:28-31, Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

Life Application  

Jesus, help me to leap into what I fear.  For I fear the unknown that you have called me to.  Help me to be like Abraham, who left home without knowing what the destination is.  For the only thing that can suffer in not following your call on my life is me.  Your plans are sure, and I know that even when the flood waters arise around me, You will carry me through the waters of life.  Help me to surround myself with people who are striving to hear you.  Help me to seek your Word every day in a way that will let Your glory be seen.
-Tyler Galloway

2 Timothy_2

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Observation-What does it say?
Paul continues his letter to Timothy, exhorting him to Christian behavior.
Understanding-What does it mean?
We belong to Him, We follow Him.
Since w​e have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, let’s live a life that is worthy of the price he paid for our redemption.
2 Timothy 2:​19- Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
Life Application
Learn His ways, Follow His ways.  
2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. 
John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Father, I do love you. You have shown your love to me in so many ways, everyday. Even after you sent your Son for me, you still love me everyday. Father forgive me for not following your commandments and loving you the way you deserve to be loved. Holy Spirit, empower me and teach me to love and obey you. May there be less of my flesh and more of your spirit that lives in me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

-Deborah Lee

Psalm 16

Scripture   Psalm 16:5  Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.

Observation-What does it say?  This psalmist continues praising God through worship, a music most pleasing to our Heavenly Father’s ears. They begin by asking God for safety and then they proceed to glorify Him, by showering Him with compliments.
Understanding-What does it mean? First of all, I love how simple their praise to God was. They simply showered Him with compliments and spoke to His nature, which I think often times we put all this built up pressure around. Worship is simply speaking to God and letting Him know how great and wonderful we think He is. Anyway, that was more of a side note. “You alone are my portion and my cup…” I hung on those words for a bit. Lately, I’ve been into having an extended pity party. So much so that I would say it has affected my worship. I even found myself saying this a little bit ago “How can I sing these songs of praise when there are some thing in my life that have yet to be fulfilled or resolved?” I found myself getting angry at the fact that I had gotten in three car accidents this past year (no injuries in any) despite praying every time I get behind the wheel. I began blaming my shortcomings on God, rather than praising the fact that HE IS FAITHFUL. Yeah, I got in three car accidents but I’ve gotten out of every one of them unscathed. 
There is only one thing in this world that can satisfy. One thing that calms our every anxiety, stress, or worry. One thing that remains constant and for that should be our only portion. Even when I don’t understand what is going on or why things happen the way that they do I know one thing is for certain: my God is greater and He is enough. He provides when I don’t even see it, He cares for me even when I’ve turned my back on Him, He alone is my portion. My one true cause. 
Life Application Live in a way that brings worship to God even when you think He isn’t watching. If we believe that He alone is our portion and our cup, then our lives better reflect it. No more timid Christianity. It’s time to take pride in the one who created us and provides no matter the cost. He already paid the ultimate price, the least I can do is live a life of gratitude and worship. Worship is only speaking to His nature and thanking Him for His goodness. Words are not the only praise that should come from our bodies, our actions should be a living sacrifice to our one true portion, who despite any circumstance cares deeply for us. God, may I live a life that brings You honor, may I remind myself everyday when I wake up that Your plans for me are good, no matter the situation I may find myself in. May I not only rely on You when I need, but may You be the center of my being. Align my heart to Yours and may Your will be done in and through me. So be it! Amen.
-Allison Khan

2 Chronicles 9

2 Chronicles 9:22-24; 30-31
22 So King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth. 23 Kings from every nation came to consult him and to hear the wisdom God had given him. 24 Year after year everyone who visited brought him gifts of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules…..30 Solomon ruled in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years. 31 When he died, he was buried in the City of David, named for his father. Then his son Rehoboam became the next king.
Observation-What does it say?
God kept His promise. Let’s back up to 2 Chronicles 1. God told King Solomon to ask Him for anything and He will do it. King Solomon knew that the job He was called to as King was a big job and He needed the Lord’s help and wisdom, so He asked for wisdom. God was impressed that he didn’t ask for wealth, possessions, honor, death of enemies or long life, so God answered His prayer for wisdom, but also said He would throw in worldly riches and success and honor as well. (Please read 2 Chronicles 1 and read Deborah Lee’s post dated August 1st if you missed it).
This chapter shows that God kept His promise and revealed the legacy that King Solomon left before he died, which had nothing to do with how rich he was by the way.
Understanding-What does it mean?
God keeps His promises.
When we read this chapter, we can’t help but give glory to God. All the wisdom and riches that King Solomon was blessed with could only be from God. He was the richest and wisest King there was before and after his reign, because God knew his heart would not be ruled it. The Lord was the King of Solomon’s heart. He reminds me of his father, King David, who Scripture describes as a “man after God’s own heart.”
Life Application
Leave a legacy that will last for eternity.
What legacy are we leaving?
King Solomon lived His life honoring the Lord, connected and dependent on the Vine. The honor and riches and success were just a secondary benefit. When King Solomon left this world, He couldn’t take any of those riches with Him, yet His faith and friendship with the Lord lasted for eternity. The goal is not to ask for the riches and successes that King Solomon had. The goal is to ask for more of Jesus and to be men/women after God’s own heart. Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added unto You (Matthew 6:33).
The following verses are from a chapter in another one of our readings this morning. It fits so well.
1 Tim 6:6-10; 17-19
6 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. 8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows…….17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
Dear Lord, I pray that the legacy we leave will be that You were #1 in our lives. May any secondary benefits that come from putting You first point others back to You Jesus. Amen.
-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm 14:5-7

But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    for God is present in the company of the righteous.
You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is their refuge.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

       New International Version

Terror will grip them,
    for God is with those who obey him.
The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
    but the Lord will protect his people.

Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
    When the Lord restores his people,
    Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.

       New Living Translation


Although it’s unconfirmed exactly what Saul was facing when this Psalm was written, it’s clear he felt oppressed and/or opposed by unbelievers.   


The message is clear…

       God is with those who obey Him

       The Lord will protect His people

       The Lord restores His people

And the third (verse 7) is my favorite…

Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
    When the Lord restores his people,
    Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.

It’s not a matter of if God will restore, but when; and we are reminded throughout Psalms that we serve a God who restores, who draws near, who heals, who rescues.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  – Psalm 34:18

The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.  – Psalm 41:3

Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel? When God restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.  – Psalm 53:6

And, if we believe that our God is unchanging, the same yesterday, today and forever more, then it’s safe to say, we still serve a God of restoration today. 

Life Application

God is the great restorer.

Restorer of relationships, hearts, people. 

Restoration can take many looks – healing, the righting of wrongs, forgiveness, being made whole, providing peace – all of which we need today.

May we cry out like David for the restoration we desire and need today – in our families, in our nation, in the hearts of those we love.

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