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!


‭‭Psalm‬ ‭121:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Observation-What does it say?
The Psalmist writes that true comfort, safety and protection comes only from the Lord.

Understanding-What does it mean?
Relying on human beings (and even ourselves) for what only God can provide will always leave us disappointed.

God works through people and we need people, but people are still faulty because we have limitations. We have limits on our time, resources, emotional and mental energy and strength, limits on wisdom and limits on what we can control. Perfection is found in Jesus Christ alone. Our only hope is in Christ.

Life Application
Look up.

Are you mourning and need comfort? Go to Jesus. (Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matt. 5:4)

Need wisdom? Ask the Lord. He gives freely to those who ask. James 1:5

Need encouragement? Go to the Lord through His Word. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Need protection from the evil one? Run to Lord. 2 Thes. 3:3

It is promised that we will have trouble in this world. But He has overcome the world, so let’s keep looking up to Him! (John 16:33)

Thank You Lord that Your eye is always on us. Thank You that You are always available and know the depths of our heart. Thank You that whatever we are walking through in life, You are right beside us celebrating with us, leading us or even carrying us through it. We are nothing without You and thank You that Your love never fails or ends. Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi

1 Corinthians_8:1


1 Corinthians 8:1

…We know that “We all possess knowledge.  ”But knowledge puffs up while love builds up…”


Apostle Paul is writing to the church or Corinth.  Some of the Corinthians bring to him questions about eating things that had been sacrificed to idols; but he first directs their attention to their pride about their knowledge.  We later learn that, truly, the meat or the fact that’s it’s been sacrificed is not the concern but, rather, if it could be stumbling block to new/fellow/weak Christians, best to avoid.  To cause a brother/sister to stumble is a sin against them and against Christ.


I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. – Leviticus 26:19

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. – 2 Chronicles 26:16

In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. – Psalm 10:4

Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. – Psalm 73:6

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them. – Proverbs 14:3

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

Pride brings along with it all kinds of troublesome things – violence, arrogance, destruction, disgrace, downfall; and it seems to be a natural challenge for most people.  Even those of us who say we love and trust God can sometimes be quick to take credit for (and pride in) what God is doing in our lives – as if it is by our own works.  Even so, there’s good news!  [Seems there always is with God. 🙂  A simple solution – STAY HUMBLE and course correct (or repent) when you catch yourself being prideful.

Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah. – 2 Chronicles 32:26

Repentance protects us from God’s wrath.  And humility creates space for honor for the one who deserves it – God.  God is the one who is worth of and WILL BE exalted.

The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. – Isaiah 2:11

And, apparently, that was important enough to God to mention again…just 6 verses later.  Seems that might just mean something. 🙂

The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, – Isaiah 2:17

Life Application

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

God, I thank you that you welcome a repentant heart.  Forgive me for the times I’ve allowed my pride to get in the way, to hold me back from giving YOU the honor and glory that you so richly deserve.  Help me to be still, to be grateful, to turn the attention where it is due…for EVERYthing good that comes my way – no matter how big or small. May I take time today to remove any puff of pride and, instead, replace it with the building up of others with your love…in a way that turns hearts towards you. I love you and am grateful to be seen, known and loved by you; may my life reflect that today.

In your name I pray. 



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Luke 1:11-17

SCRIPTURE 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John…16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”


God has a plan and purpose for mankind and history is His story unfolding.  His plans and purposes will be accomplished and they are accomplished in partnership with people.


Why did God choose Zechariah and Elizabeth? There are some clues in the account .  Both of them were upright people who served God faithfully and who were obedient to His commands.  They lived a life of faith and worship to God. But I think there is another reason why God chose this couple, we see it in the statement the angel made right after he calmed down a very frightened Z.  He says, “God has heard your prayer!”  I wonder if God in chooses those who are praying.  Peter quoting the psalmist says…

  • 1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)  For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers…
God is looking to accomplish His plans and purposes and He looks for those who are already praying for something and then He answers it with an even greater answer.  Zechariah and Elizabeth were simply praying for a son, God answers it by giving then not just any son but the one that the prophets had spoken of hundreds of years earlier:  the man who would be the one who announced the coming of Jesus.  Jesus described John and the greatest among men. 

What if praying puts us smack in the middle of God’s radar?  God says, “I’m looking for someone who can be a part of my plan, oh there you are, I hear you praying!” God is looking for pray-ers to work through.  My encouragement is to start praying for the things that God would put on my heart and then be ready for God to use me to help accomplish His great and glorious plan.

1 Corinthians__8

Scripture  1 Corinthians 8:9   Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

Observation-What does it say?  Corinth was a town of excess, where the social elite lived luxuriously.  There were temples to different gods in the city, and celebrations for the different trade organizations were often held at these many temples.  A lot of the meat sold at the markets in Corinth had been previously sacrificed in one of these temples.  So it was very difficult to separate from the paganism in the town.

Many of the Christians held that, since the “gods” were really not gods at all, the meat was acceptable to eat.  While this is true, they needed to be cautious in exercising their freedom in a way as to not make others struggle in their faith.  Thus, Paul encouraged them to abstain from eating meat sacrificed to “idols.”  

Understanding-What does it mean?  Christians don’t dance.  They don’t drink alcohol or use tobacco.  You can’t use curse words.  Christians don’t listen to secular music.  Most importantly, Christians don’t do anything fun on Sunday.  As a kid, this was my understanding of rules for proper Christian living.  It was as if this chaste living were going to make you good enough to go to heaven.  So when I got older, and I had my first beer, I was surprised that I wasn’t struck down by lightning.  Then I had a cigar or two and I had the same result, no lightning or death.  I felt as though I was lied to about the “rules.”  I did a little research and found the bible never explicitly tells us to abstain from these things.

But (there is always a but), I got involved with helping out in my church’s youth group and something strange happened.  All of the sudden, my behavior mattered.  How could I tell a teenager, who was only a few years younger than me, “You can’t go out and drink on the weekends,” and turn around and do it myself.  How could I ask them to stay away from addicting things, like cigarettes or chewing tobacco, and have a cigar.  I was trying to split hairs on what was acceptable and what wasn’t.  In my actions, I was worshiping myself.  I was placing my sovereign will above God’s.  In doing so, I could have been drawing youth away from God and toward their own self-warship.  

In Corinthians 6:12, Paul told us that “all things are lawful…but not all things are profitable.”  To the Ephesians he writes to “walk as wise men… and be subject to one another” (5:13-21).   He tells the Galatians not to use freedom as “an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (5:13).  And then we learn that the fruit of the spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (5:22-26).  So we should be living in a way that we are lifting others up, not causing them to turn away from His love.

But, we aren’t perfect.

Life Application  Jesus, thank you for my children, and the youth that you put in my life to see how important my actions are.  Thank you for your grace, and that I don’t have to live a perfect life.  But, help me to remember that I am always being a witness for your love and grace.  My actions, even when I think no one is looking, are your billboard.  Help me to remember my sin, and shortcomings, and have grace with others in ways that I also have received grace.  

-Tyler Galloway



Psalm 118:1-7

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   his love endures forever.

2 Let Israel say:
   “His love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say:
   “His love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the Lord say:
   “His love endures forever.”


The author of Psalm 118 is uncertain but one thing is certain, whoever wrote this psalm suffered great distress. But… the LORD saved them!

Psalm 118

5 When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
   he brought me into a spacious place.
6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
   What can mere mortals do to me?
7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
   I look in triumph on my enemies.

13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
   but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense[a];
   he has become my salvation.

17 I will not die but live,
   and will proclaim what the Lord has done.


Humility and Gratitude are once again the right response.

When I read this psalm I was taken back by the beauty of the gratitude expressed.

I was reminded of all the times I was “hard pressed” by the circumstances of life and felt like I couldn’t breathe.

He saved me.

I was reminded of when I have been “pushed back” to the edge by my own disobedience and right before the fall…

He saved me.

I was reminded of how I knew the “ Lord is with me” and I have nothing to fear because…

He saved me.

And I am filled with humility knowing I need a savior but my heart is overflowing with gratitude. The gratitude that comes from the revelation of His love. It has to be that by HIS LOVE FOR ME He saved me! His love for me is what finds me and brings me home. His love for me is why he never gives up on me and keeps working to transform me into the image of his son.


Make a declaration for our city, our church, and our families. Insert your family name below and say out loud that His love endures forever! Take a moment and  express your gratitude in worship.  

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
   his love endures forever.

Let Santa Clarita say:
   “His love endures forever.”
Let Desert Streams Church say:
   “His love endures forever.”
Let the house of _____ say:
   “His love endures forever.”
Let all who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb say:

   “His love endures forever.”

Let those who fear the Lord say:
   “His love endures forever.”

Psalm 107:1 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
Deborah Lee

1 Corinthians 6


1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 (NIV)

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.


Paul continues to urge the Church in Corinth to treat their bodies with dignity and respect, and to remain pure. He extends this idea towards the idea of sin and turning away from things like sexual immorality. He urges the church to not fulfill physical desires for the sake of satisfaction, but to live a life that glorifies Christ.


Maintaining and respecting our body is the same as honoring and glorifying our Heavenly Father.

I know this seems like an absolute no-brainer when it comes to ideas like sexual immorality, but I think Paul intended this to be applied to ideas beyond just that. I’m not just speaking of physical harm either, I’m speaking of mental turmoil that we put ourselves through as well. These lies we feed ourself like “I’m not good enough,” or even “I’ll never be like that person when it come to this.” These thoughts dishonor the God who created us and whose Spirit lives inside of us. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do all the good things he planned for us long ago.”

It’s comforting to know that God does not make accidents, but it is sobering to realize that when we dishonor ourselves physically or mentally we criticize the Spirit given freely to us. In other words, when we dishonor our own body, we ultimately tell God that the price He bought us back with wasn’t enough; we tell the God of the universe that He didn’t really think everything through. We place our own thoughts and physical desires above everything else, which is the most dishonoring thing we could ever do to God. I’m not saying that aren’t days where we feel beaten down by the world and sometimes struggle, but Paul reminds us that we have a Spirit living inside of us that goes past all comprehension. A Spirit that comforts the weary, heals the sick, provides rest for the tired, and joy for the sad. It isn’t hard to find. It’s the one thing about ourselves we can be sure of.

Life Application

A cleansing of the inside, is bound to shine outwardly.

When we treat our bodies as a temple we not only rid ourselves of the negative junk that shouldn’t be there, but we glorify our Creator. When we glorify Him, others begin to notice and wonder what’s different. Let us be a light in a world that focuses solely on one’s own mind as a means of finding the answers. May we learn to rely on the Spirit given to us at a high price. But above all, may we glorify God through treating our bodies like a temple

-Allison Khan

1 Corinthians__5


1 Cor 5:9-12-

9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

Observation-What does it say?

In this passage, the church was becoming tolerant of sin. They were taking sin lightly and it was having a negative effect on the Body. As a result, Paul gave his exhortation about what they were to do about the immorality and sin present in the church. He made it clear that he was not talking about judging non believers and separating from them, but rather those who claimed to be believers, yet were living in rebellion.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Church discipline is a necessary part of the church and should not be looked at in a negative fashion.

Church discipline is required in order to protect the rest of the Body of Christ. Sin is like a cancer that can spread if not dealt with in a Biblical fashion.

Church discipline is also a result of love for the believer because we do not desire for them to walk down the path of rebellion against the Lord.  Just as Hebrews 12 speaks about God disciplining those He loves, church discipline is an act of love. 

I read a really good book about someone in leadership who had a moral failure and the steps the church took to restore that person back into the family. There were consequences as a result of her sin, like the lost of her job at the church and the loss of her relationship at the time; however, because of how the church loved her and because she humbled herself to the point of going through the process of restoration (instead of running away from it or feeling like a victim and allowing pride to make her angry), her lost relationship with the man she loved was restored, that man also rededicated his life to Christ and she is back in ministry as a Pastor, book writer, and huge influencer for the Kingdom. The end result could have been worse if not for her church’s process of discipline and restoration and her humble response to it. 

Life Application

We must change our mindset about church discipline.

We must be humble enough to accept church discipline when necessary. Or if anyone who claims to be a believer in the church is in rebellion, we cannot be afraid to gently confront that person in sin because we love the Church and the individual too much to allow Satan to have a foothold. 

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 NIV

Dear Lord, You loved us and the Church so much that You died for our sins and resurrected from the grave so that we would be free from sin and death, not continue in it. I pray for humility to turn from sin when confronted by another believer about it, rather than defensiveness. I also pray that we would not fear when the Holy Spirit convicts us to confront a brother or sister in sin. Please give us strength and may we be gentle and loving in our approach when you lead us to bring their sin to light. In Your Name we pray, Amen.

-Michelle Gaddi

1 Corinthians_3

Scripture  1 Corinthians 3:18   Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.

Observation-What does it say?  The city of Corinth was an important city to the ancient trade routes.  And, therefore, it had a thriving commerce and a cultural importance.  It was a place frequented by the social elite and there was a presence from multiple nationalities: Greeks, Asians, Egyptians, Syrians and Jews.  It was also a place that had a great wealth and transitory population, Corinth had a reputation for luxury, and uninhibited pleasures.  There was a temple of Aphrodite in the city, with thousands of temple prostitutes, adding to the reputation of the cities excess.  

All of this knowledge, culture and wealth created a feeling of superiority amongst the citizens of Corinth, which was apparently creeping into the members of the church.  Paul calls them out for their judgmental and argumentative attitude. God’s plan for salvation, through Christ’s death on the cross, is foolishness to the world.  In God’s body, there is no place for pride or looking down on another.  

Understanding-What does it mean?  Some of my most embarrassing moments came when I felt like someone was acting like they were better than me.  Especially when I was younger, if I felt someone was regarding me as less than them, I would make it my mission to prove that I was superior.  This sometimes ended in me lashing out and storming off like a toddler having a temper tantrum. This happened a lot with my brother, who is a highly intelligent individual.  More than once, if my brother proved that he was smarter than me in an area, I would use some type of brut force against him, proving his point further and landing me in trouble.

Luckily, God isn’t concerned with who is “better” and he doesn’t choose people based on their accolades.  God made us all as individuals, with an individual purpose.  God concerns himself more with the state of our heart, and our willingness to be used by him in what ever capacity he has for us.  Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 “ In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.  Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”

Life Application  Jesus, help me to let go of my pride.  Help me to forget the part of me that wants to prove that I am better, or somehow more worthy of respect than those around me.  You are the ultimate example of laying down yourself, taking on the form of man in order to save us from our brokenness.  Help me to dress myself as a servant, and look for ways to give your love to those around me. 

-Tyler Galloway

1 Kings_3


1 Kings 3:10-12

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.


Solomon was now seated on the throne of his father King David and had taken the role of King. His father had passed away and he inherited a great number of people. He had listened to his father’s instructions. God was pleased with Solomon and told him he could ask for whatever he wanted. Solomon felt the weight of the responsibility and asked the Lord for wisdom.


Gratitude and humility are always the correct response.

First, Solomon responded to God with gratitude.

1 Kings 3:6-9   6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

Second, the humility.

7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

Solomon may have been around 20 years old when he took the throne. He was young and maybe it was obvious that he told God he was a child but it’s so much more common to see an arrogant 20 something that knows everything instead of being filled with humility. I definitely was! There was clearly a difference with him. Solomon’s brothers tried to just take the throne. They never asked their father or waited to be anointed by the prophet, they thought they should be king and took it.

God was so pleased with Solomon’s request as we read in 1 Kings 3:10-12 that he not only answered his request but gave him more than he could have imagined.

13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”


Gratitude and humility are always the correct response.

I’m so grateful that he made a way for us to enter into his kingdom and bless us with all that we have no matter how big or small.

Recognize the responsibility of the task that God gives to us.

Matthew 22:36-40   36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Father show me how to love you the way you deserve to be loved. Holy Spirit empower me to love my neighbor, especially the ones that make it so difficult!

Oh the weight of the responsibility to LOVE God, our neighbors, and ourselves! This is just one example on how to apply this to our lives but the truth is that there is the weight of the responsibility to parent or to be a spouse according to God’s standards and commands. How about an employer or an employee? The list could go on.

Pride distorts our true condition, we are mere humans in desperate need of God!  Instead let’s put on humility. We don’t and can’t possibly know everything. Let’s remain teachable remembering that God is making us into the image of his Son.

Seeking the kingdom of heaven and all His righteousness pleases the heart of God…that should always be our goal!

Psalm 112

Psalm‬ ‭112:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.”
Observation-What does it say?
This Psalm describes the blessings of those who follow God’s commands.

-Children will be Mighty in the land
-Generation will be blessed
-Wealth and riches are in their houses
-They are generous and lend freely
-They are never shaken
-They will be remembered forever
-They do not fear bad news
-Their hearts are steadfast because they trust in the Lord
-Hearts are secure and they have no fear
-They freely give gifts to the poor

Understanding-What does it mean?
Those who follow God’s commands not only gain His blessings, but are a blessing to others as well.

As I looked over the list I generated from this Psalm, I noticed that it did not only describe a person’s blessings from the Lord (as a result of following and submitting to Him), but also how those blessings have transformed those around them. I have re-listed those blessings, but with “personal” and “others” next to it.

-Children will be Mighty in the land (transforms kids-others)
-Generation will be blessed (transforms next generation-others)
-Wealth and riches are in their houses (personal blessings)
-They are generous and lend freely (others)
-They are never shaken (personal)
-They will be remembered forever (personal)
-They do not fear bad news (personal)
-Hearts are steadfast because they trust in the Lord (personal)
-Hearts are secure and they have no fear (personal)
-They freely give gifts to the poor (others)

Life Application
To be a blessing to others starts with putting God first in our lives.

The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with our whole being and love our neighbor as ourselves. The law can be summed up by those 2 commands, according to Scripture. (See Matthew 22:36-40).

We reap what we sow and others reap what we sow too. Just like how the consequences of sin never only affects the individual negatively, but also others, the consequences or outcome of putting God first and living a righteous and pure life also affects others, but in a blessed type of way.

Therefore, let us seek to put Christ first in everything we do so that we will be blessed AND be a blessing to others also!

-Michelle Gaddi