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_

Scripture:  Philemon 1:4-6  “I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints; and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective [d]through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.”

 

Observation-What does it say?  This is another letter written by Paul.  It was most likely written while he was imprisoned in Rome and at the same time as other letters, such as Colossians or Ephesians.  Philemon was likely a member of one of these churches and a convert directly under Paul.  Philemon owned a slave, Onisemus, who may have stolen from him and run away.  An offense which was punishable by death in the society of the time.  Paul appeals to Philemon’s hospitality and good character to encourage him to forgive Onisemus and accept him back as a Christian brother.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  We have all had those people in our lives who we feel have done something to us that we feel is unforgivable.  Whether it be a parent, a friend, some other family member, or even an enemy.  Sometimes that action may have even occurred when we were not living in Christ’s love and forgiveness.  And one of the most challenging things in life can be letting go of the pain of being hurt by someone who was close to us.  

 

I feel as though, even in my most difficult times, God has always been extremely gracious to me and I have been extremely blessed.  To be sure, at the moment it was not always fun.  Being in a wheelchair, on crutches, not having enough money to pay my bills, struggling through a time of insecurity, these were not fun.  But looking back, I see that God was directing my steps to where I am now.  Which makes it easier to find trust in God for the future.  Now, I find myself in a place where I can share the things I have with more and more people.  But, where the rubber hits the road is when I am asked to share the blessing with the people who have hurt me.

 

In Luke 14, Jesus challenges us in this exact area.  He asks us to use our blessing to reach people who are less fortunate than us.  “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.  But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)  God gives us the opportunity to invest in others in order to harvest a great crop for him, especially when it comes to forgiving those who have hurt us.


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to see opportunities to bless others.  Give me eyes to see those around me with your eyes, with the love and compassion.  Help me to be sacrificial in my giving.  Thank you for forgiving me and allowing me to see what this looks like.  Thank you for giving me the knowledge of your love, so I can pass it on to others. 

 
-Tyler Galloway


Jeremiah_25

Scripture – What stood out?

Jeremiah 25:37  The peaceful meadows will be laid waste because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

Observation – What does it say?

Jeremiah is explaining to the various nations what is about to happen to them because they have not listened to God. It’s not very pleasant sounding. This is a chapter that highlights God’s wrath and His fierce anger.

Understanding – What does it mean?

A God of fierce anger…Is a tough pill to swallow for many of us Christians. We find it hard to imagine because we have seen what fierce anger, we have seen what wrath looks like and it is not pretty. We can’t imagine a just, merciful, loving God inflicting horrible pain and/or passing judgement on people. (See the book of Job)

May I encourage you however with the wise words of a pastor who has taught me a thing or two about God of both the old and new testament. He taught me that God is an infinitely powerful, all-knowing being without a speck of evil in Him.

The wrath, the fierce anger that you and I have seen and relate to is predominantly based on our experiences with people- with people of anger.  But that is not God’s wrath and that is not God’s anger. (See the book of Job again) 

Life Application How can I apply this to my life today?

I propose that God’s anger is actually perfect. Because God is perfect. His love is pure. His anger is pure. The closest thing I have experienced to God’s perfect anger is getting disciplined by my father growing up. I was punished (it always hurt). The reason for my punishment was explained to me. But then my dad would always end those sessions with a hug and a kiss, sometimes there were tears in his eyes as he explained it hurt him to discipline me, and he tried his hardest to communicate his love for me.

As you read about the God of wrath in the old testament I pray that you would be open to that same God of love. That perhaps His ways aren’t your ways. And that even in His judgement and discipline there are things to learn from an all-knowing, all-powerful God that is always good.

May I never stop believing and trusting in your ways O Lord. In the name of Jesus, amen.
 
-kenneth lee
 


Psalm 42

Scripture

Psalm 42:1-2

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
 

Observation

This psalmist paints a vivid picture of longing for the Presence fo God. They further their point by using an analogy to describe their eagerness to meet with God.
 

Understanding

Picture this with me: you’ve just completed a pretty intense game of basketball with a friend. It was close but you won. As your adrenaline begins to fade to come to the startling realization that you are thirsty, so like any other person you go to your fridge to see what you have. Much to your dismay their is nothing that will satisfy the thirst that you have. There’s no water, no gatorade, not even a soda. You’d probably go through great lengths to get your thirst quenched, right? Because nothing for the present time, and in your fridge, can satisfy.

I think this is the exact state that we find ourselves spiritually right now. However, the only difference is we have turned to other things to quench our thirst. Things that only distract and momentarily take away the dry sensation on your tongue, but don’t truly satisfy. I think the reason that these verses really struck me was because my soul yearns for a drink of Living Water. I’ll be honest, I’ve settled during this time too because I feel “too tired” to pursue what my soul desires. I want these verses to be my cry every waking moment of every single day for me. I want to constantly desire communion with the Creator, but it starts with an inward decision not to settle but to actively chase the one that will satisfy.
 

Life Application

Recently, I have been fasting something once every week, and I want to challenge you all to do the same. I guarantee that your soul will get a little hydration if it’s feeling dehydrated like mine. And please, make these verses the cry of your heart too.

“As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after You

You alone are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship You”

-Allison Khan


Psalm 41

Scripture

 

“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. The Lord protects and preserves them— they are counted among the blessed in the land— He does not give them over to the desire of their foes. The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.” -Psalms 41:1-3 NIV

 

Observation-What does it say?

 

This is a Psalm of Comfort, written by King David.
 
 

Understanding-What does it mean?

 

Comfort and Deliverance comes from God alone.
 
 

Life Application

 

Run to the One True Source of Comfort. 

 

Does anyone need any comfort right now? I feel like all of us can or did at one point or another in the last 3 and a half months and into the present. Let’s be like King David and run to God, our ever present help in trouble and our only true Source of comfort.

 

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm_40

 Scripture:

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

 

Observation:

Doubts and fears about the eternal state, are a horrible pit and miry clay, and have been so to many a dear child of God. There is power enough in God to help the weakest, and grace enough to help the unworthiest of all that trust in him. The psalmist waited patiently; he continued believing, hoping, and praying. This is applicable to Christ. His agony, in the garden and on the cross, was a horrible pit and miry clay. But those that wait patiently for God do not wait in vain. Those that have been under religious melancholy, and by the grace of God have been relieved, may apply verse 2 very feelingly to themselves; they are brought up out of a horrible pit. Christ is the Rock on which a poor soul can alone stand fast. Where God has given steadfast hope, he expects there should be a steady, regular walk and conduct. God filled the psalmist with joy, as well as peace in believing. Multitudes, by faith beholding the sufferings and glory of Christ, have learned to fear the justice and trust in the mercy of God through Him. Many are the benefits with which we are daily loaded, both by the providence and by the grace of God.

https://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=19&c=40

 

Understanding:

I love the picture of God putting our feet on a rock – solid ground.  When things seem uncertain, crazy, scary…God is (has always been, continues to be and will always be) able to place us on solid ground.

 

He puts a new song, new words, new heart inside of us…and, because of that, those that haven’t experienced this but see it, are drawn to it and potentially transformed by it. 

 

Life Application:

Keep that “new song” ever present on our lips by actively choosing gratitude.  You can do something simple like taking a few minutes each day – at the beginning or end – to think of 3 things your grateful for…recognizing God as the source of all good things.

Other ideas for incorporating gratitude can be found here…

https://daringtolivefully.com/gratitude-exercises

Rei



Psalm 39

Scripture:  Psalm 39:5  You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.

    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”

 

Observation-What does it say?  This psalm, written by David, is a reflection on the frailty of life.  In the first half of the psalm, he is reflecting on the futility of words and the importance of holding back the tongue.  The Matthew Henry commentary states, “When not able to separate from wicked men, we should remember they will watch our words, and turn them, if they can, to our disadvantage. Sometimes it may be necessary to keep silence, even from good words; but in general we are wrong when backward to engage in edifying discourse.”  Or in the words of Thumper, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Life is too short for our words to turn someone away from God’s love.  

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  Not too long ago, my older brother and his sons came to visit for about a week.  During his visit, we were having a conversation about how life has funny outcomes that we often don’t expect.  During the conversation, I made a comment about being more responsible than my brother.  As comments from brother to brother often do, there was some intention of bothering him.  But, what I thought was playful banter really hit him in a sensitive spot.  

 

Several days later, we were in Disneyland waiting in line for a ride and waiting far too long.  Tensions were beginning to rise and I decided I had waited long enough.  The whole thing fell apart.  At the next line, we got into a shoving match, which ended with him saying, “You’re not the boss of this family,” and me walking away.  Looking back at it, I could have bridled my tongue a little sooner.  I could have sought to lift him up instead of tearing him down.  And I wish I did.  

 

Sometimes, the greatest act of love to others and the best testimony we have for Jesus is to keep our mouths shut.  We are reminded by Paul in Romans 12, that love is an action, which includes our words.  “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves…Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.” (Romans 12:9-10 & 14-16)


Life Application:  Jesus, in this tumultuous time, help me to be mindful of my tongue, which, like the rutter of a ship, has the ability to get me shipwrecked or take me to great places.  Help me to lift up, not tear down.  May the first words out of my mouth be ones that glorify you, not myself.  Most of all, help me learn when is a good time to be quiet.  For, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28).

 
-Tyler Galloway
 


Jeremiah_19

Scripture – What stood out?

Jeremiah 19:4 For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.

Observation – What does it say?

Jeremiah, a messenger of God, delivers faithfully a message intended for the kings of Judah and the people of Jerusalem. The message was one of bad tidings. The nation of Judah had fallen away from God and so God responded by letting the people know what was about to happen to them.

Understanding – What does it mean?

I have really thought a lot about “idol worship” and foreign gods for several weeks now. Most christians can’t really relate to either of the two because most of us aren’t fashioning statues and worshiping false gods outright. 

But when I think about how Jesus focused so heavily on the conditions of our hearts I think I begin to understand how I might apply some of what Jeremiah preached to my life today.

For if God cares so much about my heart than really a foreign god, a false god, and idol could potentially be anything that replaces God as my priority. That kinda opens the door wide open doesn’t it? I have placed so many things above God in my life. Beauty, fame, fortune, power, physical strength, intelligence, lusts…All are things I used to obsess over at one point or another. In the days of the old testament people worshiped these “other gods” openly. Today we worship these non-gods in our heart. We just don’t call them foreign gods. (Although I am sure there exists open forms of religions that worship fake gods for sure.)

Life Application How can I apply this to my life today?

If Jeremiah were alive today I wonder if he would look at our society and out of his mouth would come these words…”For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.”

Lord forgive us our transgressions. I pray forgiveness for all the innocent blood we have spilled, for worshiping things in our hearts that our ancestors never knew. I pray against all the forms of pride, envy, bitterness, hatred, and lusts that we have prioritized in our hearts above you. Forgive us Lord and help us to refocus ourselves and hopefully our society’s heart back on You, Jesus. In the name of Jesus do I pray. Amen.
 
-kenneth lee
 


2 Timothy_1

Scripture‭‭

2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-7‬

 

“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
In this letter to Timothy, Paul is reminding Timothy of the faith that was with his grandmother and mother, is also in him. Paul urges Timothy to continue to grow in his faith by using the spiritual gifts that God has blessed him with. He encourages Timothy to continue to live a wholesome life, a life that Paul has taught him to live. Paul reminds him of the possible danger that awaits because of his faith, but also encourages him to be strong because the Holy Spirit is with him. Paul ultimately urges Timothy to carry on where he left off. To continue to share the Good News wherever he goes.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
What are you using the gifts God has blessed you with for?
 
Like Paul and Timothy here, we all have special gifts and talents God has blessed us with. But how are we using them? Are we using them to benefit only ourselves? Or are we using them to help others in need?-(and by doing so showing them a glimpse of who Jesus was, or even sharing with them who Jesus was and what He did)? We as Christ Followers were given a special mission by Jesus…to multiply Christ Followers everywhere-(Matthew 28:18-20). So how are we doing with that mission? Are we sitting back, timidly, waiting for people to come to us? Or are we being bold and courageous, going out into this world-(whether it’s your family, neighborhood, or workplace), and proclaiming the Good News. Remember what verse 7 says in this passage, that God does not give us that spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power, love and self discipline. Is there gonna be bumps along the road? Are we going to be ridiculed for our beliefs? I’m sure we will. But we must be strong! Have faith, and know the One we serve! The One who conquered this world, and the One who conquered death! Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
 
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”-John‬ ‭16:33
 
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”-Matthew‬ ‭10:32-33‬ ‭
 
 
Life Application
 
Have you had some pie lately?
 
Here at DSC, we spell pie differently. We spell it “PII”. It stands for Pray-Invest-Invite. We should all have a PII card with a list of at least 3 people who we want to see come to know Jesus. We should be praying for them, and praying that God can open up their hearts to His Good News. We should be investing in their lives. Helping them out when needed (remember: good works, produces good will, that will lead to the good news). Finally, we should be inviting them to church or even inviting them into a relationship with Jesus. I know I struggle with the last part, but I know with God’s help I can do it! And I know we all can do this too! I pray for all of God’s people to be on mission, to use the talents and gifts God has blessed us with to help further His Kingdom. Amen.
‭‭
-Moses Gaddi‭‭‬ ‭
 


Psalm 36

Scripture

 

Psalm 36:5-6

5 Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.

 

Observation-What does it say?

 

King David’s Psalm opens with a message about the sinfulness of the wicked. He then speaks to the love and faithfulness of the Lord and petitions the Lord to continue His love towards those who KNOW Him. 

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

 

God’s love is what drives us to action.

 

God’s love, not punishment, is what drives us to action. Even His discipline is from a place of love (please see Hebrews 12:4-13). Loving discipline leads to a trusting relationship with whoever is doing the disciplining. If you are a parent, you understand this. Everything the Lord does is from a place of love and His goodness. Relying on His love means security in a loving, faithful God who will continue to keep us safe. It definitely opposes a life of sin and wickedness; it opposes a life and heart that does NOT know the Lord, which eventually leads to death. 

 

Life Application 

 

Obey what the Holy Spirit tells us to do from a place of love, not fear. 

 

About a year and a half ago, our daughters accepted Jesus’ invitation for salvation. However, our daughters were fearful about getting baptized, (which is the next step of obedience) because of being dunked in the water and people looking at them. I encouraged them not to do it if they were afraid. I encouraged them to do it from a place of love and obedience and to pray to the Lord for what He would want them to do. Long story short, the Lord worked in their little hearts and they were baptized on Dec. 23rd, 2018!

 

If Jesus cares about little children and can change their hearts and turn their fear into obedience and excitement, how much more can His love transform our hearts to obey what He calls us to do? Not just obey, but be excited about it!

 

So what is He calling you to do in obedience that you are fearful of? Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Getting baptized? Returning 10% of your income back to Him or if already a tither, being more generous and giving above the tithe? Leaving a relationship that is making you compromise your faith? Helping and serving people at the church? Sharing the Gospel with someone you’ve been praying for? 

 

Be encouraged by His love and obey not from a place of fear, but of love. 

 

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19 NIV

 
“In face, this is love for God: to keep his commands.  And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”  1 John 5: 3-4
 

Dear Lord, You know each of our hearts and what makes us fearful. I pray that as we grab hold of Your limitless love for us that we would step out in faith and obedience into all You have called us to do and become. Amen. 

 

-Please listen to this worship song “Your love Oh Lord” by Third Day. It is based on the Scripture passage chosen. https://youtu.be/0OBRvxrzhqs

 

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm_35

Scripture:

Psalm 35:28

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
    your praises all day long.

Observation:

David pleads to God for defense – to fight against those who are fighting against him.  [The exact period of time this psalm is linked to is unknown – so we are not sure who is fighting against him at this time.] He prays for destruction of his enemies – may they be disgraced, put to shame, ruined.  He then promises praise for if/when he’s delivered. He recalls dealings with previous adversaries – how he cared for them (mourning them as if family, yet how they betrayed him).  Once again, he promises praise for deliverance from his enemies then goes back to prayer for vindication.

Understanding:

David seems to often be emotionally volatile – quickly (within a single psalm) going from one thing to the next.  But through much of David’s psalms he comes back to praise.  Whether promises of praise or actual praise – even when he doesn’t get what he wants, when he is delivered, with his whole being, remembering what God has done before (even if it doesn’t much what he’s experiencing in the moment), praising God’s character, love and compassion.  Despite his frustrations, his hurts, the times where he felt left and abandoned, he seemingly always turned to praise. 

Life Application:

Always return to praise.

Regardless of where you may be today, there is something to praise God for.  If you need to jog your memory, I’ve included a list here from Psalm 103…

What God has done for us…

  • He forgives our sins (verse 3).
  • He heals our bodies (verse 3).
  • He has saved us from hell (verse 4). 
  • He blesses us with love and compassion (verse 4).
  • He satisfies us so deeply that it’s invigorating (verse 5).
  • He will deliver justice for the oppressed (verse 6).
  • He has revealed His character and deeds to us (verse 7).
  • He will not forever accuse or be angry with us for the sins we have committed against Him (verse 9).
  • He does not treat us the way we deserve to be treated or seek to punish us for our sins (verse 10).
  • He has cleansed us from our sins (verse 12).
  • He has the compassion of a Father who knows His children will sometimes fail to obey (verses 13-14).
  • His love for His followers prevails over generations (verse 17).

Who God is…

  • He is just (verse 6).
  • He is compassionate (verse 8).
  • He is gracious (verse 8).
  • He is slow to anger (verse 8).
  • He overflows with love (verse 8).
  • He loves His followers beyond our imagination (verse 11).
  • He is worthy of praise in heaven and on earth (verse 22).

https://www.scriptureconfidentliving.com/blog/how-to-praise-god-like-king-david

Let’s take time to praise today! <3

Rei