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 59

Scripture  

Psalm 59:16-17 

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.  O my strength, I will sing praises to You; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.


Observation-What does it say?  

As the title suggests, this psalm was authored by David.  The subscription of this psalm indicates that it was written when David was being pursued by Saul (1 Samuel 19:11-17).  David uses the imagery of night and day in this psalm, comparing the danger he faces to the darkness of night followed by the morning of deliverance.   In verses 13-15, David prays for God’s wrath to come down upon his enemies.  In verses 16&17, this is contrasted with the vow to praise God for his wonderful love and faithfulness, which is the cause for David’s confidence and peace.  


Understanding-What does it mean?   

I work shifts that vary on a pretty regular basis.  Sometimes I wake up way before a majority of society does and I get started with my shift when a lot of people are just getting their first cup of coffee.  Other times I am working through the night and get to see and experience the things that go bump in the night.  When I work during the day and am getting ready in the dark, I try to leave as many lights off in the house so everyone can stay asleep.  But this comes with its own set of hazards.  I have kicked many, many hard items in the darkness.  When I work at night, I have been scared right down to the bone when I hear something make a loud noise that I cannot see, eventually to find out it came from an animal that was small or from the wind.  Not to mention, working at night destroys any type of normal sleep pattern.  Needless to say, I look forward to day shift as soon as my night shift begins.  


Darkness, whether it be actual or metaphorical, gives us the impression of danger and increases our perception of fear.  But, God did not intend us to live in fear.  As Paul wrote to Timothy, “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” (2 Timothy 1:67).  When we feel like we are lost in the darkness, we need to look to God, who is our salvation.  When we are calling out to Jesus, we must remember that He hears us and gives us the desires of our heart. But, our desires must be aligned with the heart  of Jesus (James 4:2-3).


Life Application 

Jesus, when I am in a dark place, help me to look to your light for my peace and strength.  Help me to call out to you in both good times and bad.  Fill my heart with worship for you and help me to make every action an act of worship for you, so that I may keep my eyes fixed on you and in this walk away from my fears.
 
-Tyler Galloway


2 Corinthians__4

Scripture – What stood out?

2 Corinthians 4

18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 

Observation – What does it say?

The apostle Paul in his second letter to the church of Corinth continues to encourage and instruct this young church that had been battling various issues that sought to confuse and divide the church at the time.

Understanding – What does it mean?

I had the opportunity to visit with a retired pastor in his golden years, I won’t give away his age but he is over 80 and still sharp as a tack. I cherish these moments with him because I suspect that I am his only visitor for that particular day. I say this because I am always prepared to receive whatever sermon he has prepared or the Holy Spirit has deposited into him at that moment in time!

 

His question to me during my latest visit was Have you tried to imagine heaven lately?

I was dying to answer ABSOLUTELY!

But that would not have been the truth.

 

With a look of fierce determination, the beginning of a smile and a slight twinkle in his eyes he looked towards me. “Try it some time! Thinking about heaven will boggle your mind. I don’t even know where to begin. I think about spending eternity with the King of the Universe and I get lost in my imagination!”

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

 

Am I looking to things that are eternal?

Have I tried to imagine heaven lately?

 

Father God I have seen a lot of movies, I have read bible verses, I have even seen pictures that describe heaven. I pray that Holy Spirit You would help me to imagine it. The space where God the Creator lives. The place where Jesus my Lord and Savior lives. Give me joy as I spend some time boggling my mind with thoughts of the eternal things on this beautiful day.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneth lee



2 Corinthians__3

Scripture

2 Corinthians 3: 17-18

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being ever transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
 

Observation

Paul continues writing his letter to the people of Corinth. Here, he promises a “new covenant,” one that is exciting and has no shackles, chains, or veils holding it back from experiencing the glory and goodness of God.
 

Understanding

So we all know (because I talk about it all the time) that I, Allison Khan, love learning about United States history. There I said it! I’m a nerd, and I don’t really care who knows it anymore. The period I love to study is the Revolutionary War, and the aftermath of said war. When looking at the events leading up to it, though two major themes come to the forefront of any historian looking at this era: liberty and freedom. Upon close examination we realize that these are NOT the same thing, which people commonly use them to mean the same thing. America gained liberty and independence, and freedom from the British Empire, NOT just freedom. Liberty is the idea of expressing rights and ideas within the confines of a fair and non-oppressive government and society. In other words, it is freedom that is contained. So in America we aren’t free to do whatever we like, we are free to do what is appropriate by law and society. Here is why I say all that: Paul says “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

He does not say “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty…” There are no restrictions in Christ Jesus! We are free to be who we were created to be, for the sake of the mission of Heaven. Paul also extends this idea that in God’s Presence we don’t hide any part of us. And why would we want to?! Rather we should bask in the glory of the Father, and the Spirit that He has given us. Because it is only in HIs Presence that we can know Him, be transformed in His image, and experience a freedom without any hindrances. The amazing thing about the Spirit of the Lord is that it is accessible to all. It’s not some rare thing reserved for a select few.
 

Life Application

We live a country that was founded on the idea of justice and liberty, but we were created by a Father who loves to grant us freedom. I feel there are some of you reading today that need to be reminded of that. Step out of the shadows and break into the new! Freedom seems daunting but it’s so liberating, and it’s yours for the taking if you want it.

-U.S. history buff, I mean Allison Khan



2 Corinthians_2

Scripture 

2 Corinthians 2: 5-11

Forgiveness for the Offender

5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

In this section of the letter from Paul to the Corinthian church, he is talking about “restoring a repentant offender.” (Reference: Matthew Henry’s Bible commentary (concise) on christianity.com)

Also, disclaimer, when I speak about the Church in this post, I’m speaking about the people, not the meeting place.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

Repent and Forgive!

Every sin has a consequence. God gives us consequences so that we would learn and grow from our mistakes, not repeat them. He loves us that much! The Church has consequences too to preserve the purity and integrity of what we believe in and stand for in Christ. As a parent, I love my children, so they get consequences and disciplined for behavior that Moses and I do not approve of too, because they are holding the Gaddi name.  

What I love about Paul’s letter, is that he highlights repentance as well, someone who is filled with Godly sorrow over worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow makes us take a 180 degree turn, like what Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to do after He forgave her. With repentant believers, we are called to forgive them of their actions and not continue punishing (or disciplining) them for their mistakes. A true repentant believer will already be beating themselves up over their bad decision, so we don’t need to add to that pain and drive them to “excessive sorrow” as Paul says. Instead, we must love, forgive, and comfort them.

 

Life Application 

What repentant sin offender do we need to forgive? Or if we are the offender, have we repented?

As a person who grew up in the church and started attending since the womb, I will be the first to tell you that NO church is perfect. None. And if you feel that you can find a perfect church, you will just be bouncing around in that pursuit because the church is filled with fallen/imperfect people like ourselves.

This is why forgiveness is so important. We will be offended, we will be hurt and grieved by people’s sins, especially if they are against us, and we may even be blindsided by unexpected decisions; however, if our brother or sister is repentant, we must love them and forgive them as Christ loves and forgives us of our sins. 

Enforcing extra punishment to repentant sinners is a scheme of Satan and is not the heart of Christ. Let us not fall for his schemes, but rather forgive others as many times as Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32).

-Michelle Gaddi



2 Corinthians__1

Scripture

2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:4‬ ‭NLT

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Paul is writing to the people throughout all of Greece, but particularly to the church in Corinth. Paul is reminding them that God is the true source of comfort. That God comforts them during time of pain and crisis, and in return they need to show others that same comfort God shows them when they are in need of it.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
There is a reason we sometimes have to go through the things we do.
 
You ever wonder why we go through some tough spots in life? I know I have. Whether it’s going through sickness or disease, or a loss of a loved one, God has a reason behind it. And sometimes that reason could be so that once we experience it, we can help, encourage, and walk others experiencing it, through that difficult time in life. You see, as Christ Followers we have a hope and a peace that others who don’t know Jesus have. We are supposed to be the salt and light of the earth. The light He shines in us (with hope and comfort), should be shared with others going through dark times. Who better can comfort someone dealing with the loss of a loved one or going through cancer? Obviously a person whose already been through it. The experience of not only going through such a difficult time, but the experience of how God delivered us through that time can be a spark of light or a beam of hope that someone really needs at that moment. Remember also, the world looks at Christians with a microscope. They dissect our behavior and every action. They want to see how we react when dark times hit us, and how we treat others. Let’s be the example that the world needs right now!
 
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”  Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭
 
Life Application
 
🎼This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.🎶
 
You all remember that song we learned in Sunday School growing up right? Well it’s time to put that song and those words into action! Time to go out into the world and shine God’s light, (that He instills in us), so the whole world can see. God has given us each our own individual paths and struggles that He got us through. Just know there is someone in this world going through a trouble that you may already have been through. Go and bring comfort to them. Encourage them. Share your story on how God helped you through it. Allow God’s light to brighten up their day! 😊
 
-Moses Gaddi
‬‬


Genesis 7

Scripture 

Genesis 7:11-12  In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.  The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

The book of Genesis describes the beginning of the world, as well as the beginning of the story of God’s nation.  The stories in Genesis were carried on orally for several generations, and some scholars believe they were not written down until the time of David.  The first eleven chapters of Genesis move quickly from a time when the only thing in existence was God, to the process of the creation of the earth, through the fall of man and the transformation of the world to what we know today. When Noah entered the story, the world had completely rejected God and Noah was chosen to carry on the line of humans.  Noah took the better part of his life to build the Ark.  God caused the animals to enter the Ark and then He caused water to come out from everywhere, from the sky and from the ground, covering up to the highest peaks of the mountains.  In this moment, God displayed the greatness and completeness of His power, proving that He has both the power to create and destroy.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

As a young boy, I had the opportunity to go see the Grand Canyon twice.  Both times were brief, but they left an indelible mark in my mind.  The grandeur of the place (pun intended) was almost breathtaking.  On one of these trips, my family took a hike along the rim in a place where there was no guardrail.  As I creeped toward the edge to try and see how deep it really was, I was distracted, and my mom quickly grabbed my arms and gave a tiny little push forward, letting out a startling “Yaahhh!!!”  My heart jumped into my throat, as I felt as though I was being pushed to my death.  When I watched the home video later, I found that I wasn’t that close to the edge and my mom had a solid hold on my arms.  There was no chance of my death on that day.  

Anytime I think about the Grand Canyon now, I think of this verse in Genesis.  While the scientific community would have us believe that it took billions of years to form the Grand Canyon, this verse gives a different idea of the timeline of the creation of the canyon.  When the “fountains of the great deep” opened up,  there was likely a dramatic increase in erosion, much like when you point a hose at one place in the dirt for a period of time.  In fact, this verse affects the way I look at how many of the natural wonders were formed, such as the glaciers, or places like Yosemite valley, which is believed to have been formed by water and glaciers.  Scientists also believe much of the United States was once covered in water, in a region they call the Western Interior Seaway.  How was it that the United States was covered in water unless there was a flood?  In a few weeks, we are taking our boys to the Grand Canyon.  I look forward to seeing the look on their face as they gaze over the grandeur of it all.  I look forward to the opportunity to share the story of the great flood and Noah’s faithfulness.  And, I look forward to scaring the daylights out of one of my kids.


Life Application 

God thank you for the reminders that You have given us of Your great power and authority.  Thank you for the reminders that you will never fail us.  Help me to recall these places when I come to worship you, so I can have a right perspective of my need for you. 
 
-Tyler Galloway      


Genesis_6

Scripture

 

Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.

 

Noah was a righteous man,

 

blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.

 

Observation

 

The world was in a bad place. Around 2000 years after Yahweh created Mankind, the Nephilim(sons of God as the Bible calls them) came down and hooked up with the daughters of humans.

 

And everything started to get really bad, “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” (Gen. 6:5)

 

But…there was one man that caught Yahweh’s attention.

 

 Noah.

 

Understanding

 

Noah means rest and comfort.

 

Righteous means Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine instructions.

 

Obedience is compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another’s authority.

 

In the midst of a shaky world, surroundings with conflict, disregard for each other, perverseness, and evil,

 

we can find rest.

 

Obedience to Yahweh, creates righteousness, which leads to rest.

 

He will lift you up out of the darkness and turmoil around you,

 He will keep you safe in His Ark,

He will carry you to fulfill His will,

He will give you rest.

 

Genesis 6:22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

 

Life Application

 

Just say, “Yes LORD.”

 

One yes after another. One step toward Him. One step after another, and you will have “walked faithfully with God.”

 

Abba Father, you are Holy and righteous! You sit in the highest heaven and still choose to condescend with man, with little old me. How do I dare to disobey your commands?How do I let my surrounding discomfort and evils in the world deceive me into disobedience? Holy Spirit come, open my eyes to see you that I may walk in your footsteps, open my ears to hear you that I may obey exactly as you have said, open my heart to receive your word and instructions. Holy Spirit fall on us so that we would be “strong and courageous” knowing that You are with us and that You lead us on “paths of righteousness” to find rest. In the name of your son and my savior, Yeshua, Amen!
 
-Deborah Lee

 

Please take a few minutes to listen with the captions on and meditate on His word. Enjoy!

 



Genesis 5

Scripture

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭5:23-24‬ ‬‬

“Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.”

 

Observation-What does it say?

This chapter gives you an account of all the descendants of Adam and Eve. It tells you their names, how old they were when they had kids, their kids names, and how old they were when they died. But in Enoch’s case, he did not die. God simply took him.

 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Enoch was the first example of what will happen during the rapture.
 
It’s an event that is spoken about in the Bible. It’s an event that we Christians look forward to. I’m talking about The Rapture. It’s when the dead in Christ and the ones still living on earth who put their faith in Jesus, almost instantly and simultaneously are caught up and are brought into the presence of God.
 
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.”-‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:16-17‬ ‬‬
 
It’s the next prophetic event to take place on The Church’s calendar. It signifies the End Times and the beginning of the 7 years of Tribulation that the book of Revelation speaks of. It’s when Jesus comes for His people, and rescues them from the upcoming calamities and judgment He will be placing upon the earth for their sinfulness and their rejection of the gospel message.
 
Now the only thing we know about Enoch is what the Bible tells us here in Genesis. He was a man who walked in close fellowship with God. He was one of two people in the Bible who did not experience death (the prophet Elijah being the other one). He was ultimately taken into the presence of the Lord, not having to deal with an upcoming calamity God was going to send in a form of flooding the entire earth. Why did God choose Enoch and Elijah as the only ones to not experience death? Only God knows. All that I can tell you is what will happen to those who choose Christ, and those who reject Him.
 
Life Application
 
Walk in close fellowship with God and encourage others to do so too. 😊
 
Oh how I would love to be like Enoch and Elijah and live a life and not have to experience death. But that is not for me to determine. All I can do is follow their example and live a life in close fellowship with God. How does that look like today? By spending time with Him daily (PB & J-Prayer, Bible Reading, & Journaling), loving those around me, and encouraging them to live a life trusting God and obeying His ways. We who read God’s Word know how it ends. We know what happens to those who choose Jesus, and for those who reject Him. And if we truly have that close fellowship with God like Enoch did, shouldn’t we also have the same heart as God for those lost souls in the world? Shouldn’t we want all to come and know Jesus? Shouldn’t we want to save them from the upcoming calamities and instead be raptured/taken into the presence of God forever and ever? I pray we all are on mission this week. Let us be prepared for Jesus’ coming.
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


1 Corinthians 13

Scripture 

1 Corinthians 13: 1-7

 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

Observation-What does it say? 

The Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthian church and in the previous chapter, chapter 12, he was describing all the spiritual gifts. However, this chapter is basically Paul saying that out of ALL the spiritual gifts, LOVE is the most excellent way!

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

Love is absolutely necessary!

What were the first 2 commandments that God gave in the Old Testament? (Hint: You can find them in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.)

In the New Testament, how did Jesus say He would sum up the commandments? (Hint: Matthew 22: 36-40)

 

Life Application

Without love, we’re just wasting our time. They will know we are Christians by our love, NOT our works. 

As I’m writing this, my husband are celebrating 13 years of being married! Today is a celebration of our love commitment, vows and becoming one as husband and wife. This chapter in Scripture was used in our wedding and is very popular for Christian weddings! We made a commitment in front of a total of 200 family, friends, Pastors, ministry leaders, and most importantly God, through better or worse, sickness and health, for richer or poorer and ’til death do us part! Staying faithful to a love commitment like that is only possible through the Holy Spirit and our daily choice to put the Lord and each other first, lots of forgiveness, laughter, serving one another, and continued investment in each other! 

Now, let’s parallel this to church ministry and mission. It doesn’t matter what degree we have, what knowledge of God’s Word we have, what gifts or talents we’ve been blessed with, or what kind of sacrifices we make for the Kingdom like fasting, keeping the Sabbath, giving money to the poor, etc. Without deep love for the people we are trying to minister to, they won’t listen to us and we may actually turn people away from Jesus instead of towards Him.

Let’s continue to be on mission for Jesus, but not forget that the most important ministry to the people is to love them in action and deed, the same way Jesus loves us, His church/bride. What are some ways you can do that? If you need help, I recommend that you watch/rewatch Justin’s message from last Sunday. Here’s the link:

Mission Possible | Desert Streams Church

-Michelle Gaddi



Genesis_3

Scripture

Genesis 3:4-5 NLT

““You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.””

 

Observation-What does it say?

The serpent (Satan), was up to his old tricks again. Here he was, in the Garden of Eden, deceiving Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The tree that God specifically told both Adam and herself not to eat from. But the serpent was crafty. He twisted God’s Words to trick her into disobeying God.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

The world is the devil’s playground, and he will use anything in it to bring mankind down with him.

In this passage, Eve was tricked into disobeying God. She let someone/something else influence her into making a very bad decision. Instead of trusting God, and trusting in His commands, she let an outside influence pressure her into disobedience towards her Creator. 

I wonder how many of us get caught up doing the same thing? We let the world influence us into making bad decisions, decisions that aren’t very pleasing to God. Instead of trusting the ways of the only One in this world that is holy and righteous, we let the world determine things that are good and bad. And as Christ Followers, it’s time we need to take a stand in this world for God’s ways over the world’s ways. Because if we don’t, well, just look at the world we are living in now. A world that pushed God out of its schools and government. It is a world doomed for destruction.

 

Life Application

Take a stand for what you believe in!

Isn’t it about time we stand up and fight for what we believe in?! Sure it can be an unpopular choice, but it’s a choice we have to make. We are called to a higher standard as God’s children. Instead of letting the world conform us, it is us as His disciples that should be transforming the world through teaching His ways and His truth.

Father God, I pray that You give me courage today to stand up for what I believe in…to stand up for You! May You help all Your children stand united in bringing back your values and ways into our schools and governments once again. Help us to put You back on the throne where You belong. It is the only way we can make America and this world great again! In Your Holy name Jesus I pray these things, Amen.

-Moses Gaddi