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 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



Matthew 28:16-17 NLT

“Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!”

Observation-What does it say?

As both Marys went to visit Jesus’ tomb, they were greeted by a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled back the huge stone that lay in front of the door of the tomb, and showed both Marys that the place where Jesus’ body laid, was now empty! Just like Jesus told them…He would rise again! Jesus is alive! Now the angel told the women to go and tell the disciples that Jesus is alive, and to tell them to head to Galilee, because it is there that they will see him.

So when the disciples arrived in Galilee, they went to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. It was there that they saw him and worshipped him, yet some of them still doubted.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Transformation does not happen quickly.

Even after all Jesus has done for them, all He has told them, all that they have seen with their own eyes, they still doubted?! We would like to think that the Resurrection alone would immediately transform these timid disciples into heroes of faith. But this particular verse is a great reminder that transformation does not happen overnight. Even after Jesus’ disciples saw him alive and heard him speak, they still doubted.
Now just when I was going to get down on Jesus’ disciples, I took a look at my own life. I looked back at all that I learned, all that Jesus has done in my life, and all that He has got me through. Yet when one of life’s roadblocks comes my way, what do I do? I find myself anxious, I begin to doubt God’s promises for me. Why?! I believe it’s a growing and maturing process we as Christ Followers all go through. Our lives as Christ Followers is a daily spiritual walk. A walk in which we should all be striving to grow and mature in Christ daily. I believe the “churchy word” for it is sanctification. It is our lifelong process as God’s children to become more like Christ each and every day. And it doesn’t stop either! It is something we all should be doing till the Lord calls us home.
Life Application

I must allow the Holy Spirit to make me be a better disciple each and every day, month, and year!

Too often we come across people who say they have been Christians for years and years. Yet they seem to be struggling with the same issues over and over. They tell you that they’ve been a Christian for 10 years, but it seems they’ve been repeating the same grade year after year with no growth. Or they can quote you scripture and know the Bible inside-out. Yet their lives contradict what they should already know. They have the information, but not the transformation in their lives. 

As Christ Followers we should be all about the transformation. We should be allowing the Holy Spirit to mold us and change us to be more like Jesus each day. We all need to start somewhere in our walk with God. The key is to make sure we don’t settle where we are at, but we continue to seek growth to become more and more like Him each day . 

-Moses Gaddi



Matthew 27:28-31

28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 When they had [h]twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.


In many ways, this is the beginning of the end…but also the end of the beginning.

Judas had basically sold Jesus off to his death for 30 pieces of silver, felt great shame and guilt and tried to return it then hung himself.

Jesus had been taken before the governor, Pilate, who did NOT find him guilty but upheld the custom of releasing only one prisoner of the crowd’s choice – of which they chose Barabbas.

Now, Barabbas has been released and they begin the process of crucifixion.


The accounting of Jesus’ death is always heart wrenching. No one deserves a death like this, especially not an innocent, peaceful and loving man…for whom the governor could find no wrong. One thing to take away though, is Jesus’ example of humility.

I’ve always felt that spitting on someone was among the most disgusting and disrespectful things one could do to another. And here we see our Savior being mocked, subjected to pain, spit on, struck, stripped down, fed sour wine, hung, nail pierced…yet, even here – subjected to humiliation and holding the power to bring down whatever he wanted on to these people (fire and lightening come to mind for me) – he remains innocent, peaceful, loving and humble. Talk about raising the bar in living a life of example!

Life Application

God, I thank you that you have such incredibly high standards…but that in the short time you physically walked the earth, you set the best example of living up to those high standards. I’ll be honest, it still doesn’t possible and I know I fail daily…but make me more like you. May my humility, my love, my kindness, my attempts to bring harmony and peace be reflective of you in me and may it turn hearts towards you.

In your name I pray.



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Scripture:  Matthew 26:39  Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Observation-What does it say?  Jesus is in the final stretches of his first mission on earth.  He has made the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and is about to be betrayed.  In light of what is about to happen, Jesus stops to pray.  He prayed with fever and passion, as described in Luke 22:39-46.  “The prospect of his suffering fills Jesus with horror…Peter, writing later, says that Jesus ‘was bearing our sins in his own body on the cross’ (1 Peter 2:24)” (Zondervan Handbook of the Bible, p.575).   Despite his vehement prayers, Jesus ultimately submits and God’s plan is still carried out.

Understanding-What does it mean?  My son, Ezekiel, suffers from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  He also has some food allergies.  And so, he really shouldn’t be eating certain foods that irritate his stomach and that he is allergic to, like wheat, dairy, and eggs.  We learned this when he was four years old.  And do you know what four year old boys like to eat?  I can give you a short list: pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly.  These all include at least two of the three foods he is allergic to, and I haven’t even begun on desserts.  

Having to suffer through this with Ezekiel has been a painful, but effective, object lesson in why we sometimes have to hear the word “no” when we earnestly pray for something.  It hurts to see the look on Ezekiel’s face at a birthday party when he can’t have cake.  It’s not fun having to forego pizza as a family, because of the way it hurts his stomach.  But, I know these are good things for him to abstain from.  Just like God knows the things that are best for us.  

Something else I have learned in having kids, is that I love to hear their stories.  I also love when they want to spend time with me, especially if it is doing a mundane task.  It can get really annoying if the only things coming out of their mouths is, “Can I have a…?  I want a…  I need it now.”  And so, I know our heavenly father feels the same way.  C.S. Lewis writes, “Prayer in the sense of petitions, asking for things, is a small part of it; confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread and wine.  In it God shows Himself to us.  That he answers prayers is a corollary- not necessarily the most important one- from that revelation” (The World’s Last Night, p. 7).

Life Application:  Jesus I want to abide in you.  I want to know you and hear your voice.  While I still struggle with material desires, like wanting a bigger house or a nice truck, I know  these will ultimately leave me empty and still wanting more.  Help me to replace these with a longing for your voice.  Help me to thrive in waiting for you.  Most of all, help me to accept your “no” because you “know.”
 -Tyler Galloway

Matthew_ 25


Matthew 25:40

The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’


Jesus was continuing his conversation he was having with the disciples telling them what it would be like in the end times and at his return. In this particular parable Jesus told them that when the Son of Man comes in glory he would separate them, sheep from goats.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’


We are ministering to the God that saved us.

The next time we have an opportunity to visit the sick or show hospitality to a foreigner trying to find their way in a new town, we are lifting their spirit and providing nourishment for their soul. We are reflecting the Father’s love for them, we are showing them the friendship and fellowship of Jesus Christ, that he would lay down his life for them.

We have a glorious opportunity to minister to God himself when we give to the poor, visit the widow, adopt the lonely, visit the prisons… God provides an opportunity for us to humble ourselves and care for those who may seem deplorable, unlovable, and unreachable.


Recognize the opportunity to minister to God Himself

We know someone in our life, a family member, a neighbor, maybe someone at work or on our way to the market that needs to be visited, fed, or clothed. Practically, set aside funds, food, or clothes and prepare yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit. Expect a divine appointment to minister to God.

Holy Spirit lead us and empower us!

Deborah Lee



  • 36″No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father.
  • 42″Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
  •  45″Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


We are certain of one very important thing in this passage…Jesus will come again to establish His Kingdom rule here on earth.  The time for that was not at the time of His life on earth but was in a distant future.  He gives us some signs that would point to His return but the other thing we know for sure is that no one but the Father knows when the return will be, not even the angels.  The other thing we recognize from this chapter is that whether we are ready or not He will return.


Jesus says that He will return to establish His kingdom and to destroy those who oppose it.  He gives us four pieces of advice to help us navigate this event successfully.  He says that we as wise servants should…
  • Be watchful or alert
  • Be ready
  • Be faithful
  • Be wise

Life application

So are we being wise servants of the Master?  Are we living in such a way that we are being watchful, ready, faithful and wise?  What do those things look like in your life?  Would love to hear from you how those instructions are being walked out in your life today.

2 Samuel_20

2 Samuel 20:16,19
16 “But a wise woman in the town called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.”
19 “I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel. Why do you want to devour what belongs to the LORD?”
Observation-What does it say?
Joab and his forces are in hot pursuit of seizing Sheba and his men. They find out that Sheba and his men were assembled and ready for battle in a town called Abel-beth-maacah. So Joab and his forces arrive and begin attacking the town, even building a siege ramp against the towns fortifications as they began battering down the wall. 
But a wise woman from the town calls out to Joab and questions Joab asking why he is destroying their town…God’s town. Joab replies his intentions of seizing but one man, Sheba, for Sheba spoke against the king of Israel and has tried to start a revolt against the king. Joab then tells this wise woman that if she hands Sheba over to him, he will leave their town. The wise woman talks it over with the rest of the town and they agree to Joab’s request. They cut off Sheba’s head and throw it out to Joab. 
Understanding-What does it mean?
The wise woman stood up against the man (Sheba), who spoke against God’s anointed King, and helped spare her town from further destruction and ruin.
The town of Abel-beth-maacah had a person amongst them who had spoken bad against God’s anointed king, David. The town was under attack and on the verge of being devoured by the king’s army because of it, until a wise woman came out and took a stand against the destruction of her land, the land of God! She and the town literally took the thing that was causing her town so much war and destruction by the head and submitted it to the king’s men. Her town was spared from further damage that day.
Life Application
Take a stand against the things in this world that oppose God, His people, and His ways.
It seems this world put lots of things God considers important on the back burner. In some parts of the world, God’s people are being put to death because of their faith. Even in our own nation, God and His ways are being taken out of schools and our government. We as a church body (His bride), have let God down. Our world is being devoured and destroyed because of such things. Just look around us! It’s time we as THE CHURCH take a stand! We must be like the wise woman in this passage and take a stand. Fight to keep our home, God’s home, from being destroyed!
Lord give me courage and strength to take a stand against anything or anyone who opposes You or Your people. Let we, as Your bride, fight for its groom. Help us to show you the honor, respect, and love You truly deserve. In Your name Lord Jesus, Amen.
-Moses Gaddi



Psalm 105:8,42-44

He remembers his covenant forever,
    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,

42 For he remembered his holy promise
    given to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought out his people with rejoicing,
    his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
    and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—



Starting with praise, this book shares a summarized version of the story of Abraham, the story of the Israelites – from being set free (with the use of plagues) to the traveling by cloud and fire, to the provision in the desert (manna and quail from heaven, water from rocks)…and why?  All because God had made a promise.



There was so much good stuff in today’s reading – especially in Matthew, with the “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21) and the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) – it was hard to choose just one theme.  But I think even those can be summed up with…  

God is faithful.

And Psalms brings it home with just how faithful God is…so much so that he remembers his covenant FOREVER, the promise he made for A THOUSAND GENERATIONS.  I’m lucky to remember something for a thousand minutes or a thousand seconds.  Yet the God who spoke us in to creation, who knew the beginning, middle and end of our stories before we took our first breath, He remembers the promises he made FOREVER.


Life Application

What promises are you holding on to?  What things have spoken to you and over you by God?  May today be a reminder that He hasn’t forgotten.  Stay the course, you serve a faithful God who remembers you and remembers the promises He’s made you.

God, I thank you that you are a faithful God…a follow through God.  Not one thing comes out of your mouth only to return void.  May I be faithful to you like you are to me. 

Oh, and give me opportunities today to exercise the greatest commandment – love.

In your name I pray. 



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


Scripture  Matthew 21:28-32   “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’  “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.  “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.  “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered.

Observation-What does it say?  Jesus is speaking with a group of the chief priests, and they decide to question his authority.  Jesus answers with a group of parables: the parable of the two sons, the parable of the vineyard tenants, and the parable of the wedding guests.  The three parables display different aspects of disobedience to Jesus.  In the parable of the two sons, we see an example of a sincere act of obedience in the first son, even though his words would show otherwise.  The second son mocks his father through his disobedience.  

Understanding-What does it mean?  Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy when I am yelling at my kids to clean their room.  I mean how many times do I have to tell them calmly and quietly.  The first 82 times I asked them to clean their room I was able to hold my composure.  Why at 83 did I suddenly turn into the Hulk?  Smashing Lego creations that took them two weeks to build.  Putting their favorite stuffed animals in the trash.  This is when my kids really show concern for their belongings, once the reality sets in that I can make it all disappear.  It’s like they don’t understand the value of a dollar.    

I know that I did the same thing when I was their age.  And, the reality is, I still struggle with being obedient.   I often struggle with being generous with people who I “don’t deserve it.”  Or I treat people the way I feel have “earned.”  I treat the outcasts with disdain because I don’t care for the way they smell, or how they look.  I play favorites and treat people the way I feel they deserve, even though God’s word clearly states this is sin.  I go to church, pay my tithes, I even volunteer to help in different ministries.  But, these things are all in my comfort zone.  

In Matthew 20:1-16, we learn about God’s amazing generosity with us.  In the parable of the workers, we see that God shares equally with all who will come to him.  Why, then, do I find it so hard to show love to the outcasts.  I let my pride get in the way.  

Life Application  Jesus, I am sorry for being so prideful.  I am sorry for showing favoritism and not showing love to those who are “less desirable.”  Help me to love others the way I love myself.  Help me to let go of my biases and see people with the same love you do.            

-Tyler Galloway

Matthew _20


Matthew 20:20,16

12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


Jesus was describing what the kingdom of heaven was like. He compared it to a landowner who went out to hire laborers to work in his vineyard. Some he found early in the morning and agreed to pay them a denarius, a whole days wage. Others he found later at different times even towards the end of the day, and paid them the same amount as the laborers who started in the morning. Say what!?


Father God is so good!

Ephesians 2:7-8  “7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

I am humbled by God’s generosity of love.I get to share in the inheritance no matter when I started. Father God is so good! I don’t deserve any reward! Certainly not the same reward of those that have gone before me.

I can only imagine what it must feel like to have been laboring, putting in the time and effort for so long only to receive the same reward.

Matthew 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

However, I think in this scripture Jesus was commenting on the first workers complaining, bad attitude toward unfair division of wages, and desire to be recognized for hours of laborious work. Their heart was ugly toward their fellow laborers who came in late. He should have shown gratitude for the wages and  having a fellow laborer to help, the humility to be happy for the latecomer who was receiving such an amazing wage!


Desire to serve over wanting to be used.

When we want to be used it comes with a longing to be seen for our work and to be recognized for our gifts and talents. When we desire to serve it comes with a longing to do what is being asked of us even if it doesn’t fit into our gifts and talents and it remains unseen.

Let’s be okay with being unnoticed, outranked, and unpaid. Store up treasure in heaven. Let’s rejoice with our brothers and sisters who come into the kingdom of heaven and share in the same inheritance.
Matthew 20:28 “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Humility and gratitude are always the right response. Do away with pride and allow humility to reveal our true condition.

Father, thank you for your salvation through your son Jesus Christ that allows me to be a laborer in your kingdom. We take off our pride that distorts the truth and put on humility that reveals our true condition. Holy Spirit come empower us to work alongside my brothers and sisters with a happy heart of gratitude for them coming into the kingdom and forever grateful for your immeasurable grace and mercy! In Jesus name, Amen!

Deborah Lee