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!
 

Proverbs__13

Scripture

Proverbs 13:20

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
 

Observation

King Solomon continues on his talks of obtaining wisdom, and in this chapter he discusses ways to not only take valid criticism and grow from it, but also to evaluate who we surround ourself with. He makes it imperative that as wise followers of God, we must be the ones influencing those around us, and not the other way around.
 

Understanding

Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.

I used to hear this all the time in high school, and figured it didn’t really apply to me because I didn’t really have that many friends. However, I looked around closely at others and saw that this became very indicative of all of them. People who would spend their time with people involved in substances gradually became addicted to the same substance, or people who spent their time with people heavily involved with the school and its activities slowly entered more rigorous courses or ASB (that was me). The bottom line is that they were influenced either way. By the end of my sophomore year my biggest concern was that I wasn’t doing anything to leave an impressionable mark on those coming up after me. So junior and senior year I made the shift to become more involved in the lives of those around me. I wanted to invest in them so that influence them. I’d like to think that I was successful, but only time can tell on things like that. So what’s my point?

Who you hang around matters! You don’t have to be in high school to know this either, it happens everywhere whether we are conscious of it or not. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing either. If someone is really good at something that you want to learn more about, hang around them it’s bound to rub off on you. My professor said the other day, “Sometimes it’s better to be by yourself than to be in bad company.” Although this sounds extremely logical and exactly what King Solomon is talking about, I don’t think this is all correct either. If we are to multiply Christ-followers everywhere, it means at some point we are going to have to go out to “bad company” and show them the love of Jesus. I’m not saying to go all crazy (know your limitations), but I am saying to show them what walking with the wise looks like. Raise their standard, don’t stoop to theirs.
 

Life Application

Walk the walk, and talk the talk.

Let’s make sure that what we say, matches our heart and intention. It’s one thing to say all the right things that makes look wise, but it’s another thing to actually live a wise Christ centered life as well. Anyone can love the unlovable and tell them what being wise sounds like, don’t just be anyone. Let’s serve them too, and walk alongside them so that they may become wise as well.

-Allison Khan


Isaiah_28

Scripture
 

Isaiah 28:11b-13a

God will speak to this people,

12 to whom he said,

“This is the resting place, let the weary rest”;

and, “This is the place of repose”—

but they would not listen.

13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:

Do this, do that…
 

Observation – What does it say?

 

God had offered rest to His people but they rejected His offer. They refused to listen. As a result, they were left with just rules and commands, hoops to jump through; rules and commands they were sure to break without the strength and wisdom provided by relationship with God.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

 

God offers the same rest to people today, rest that only comes through relationship with Jesus.

 

Matthew 11:28 (NLT) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

 

Hebrews 4:11 (NLT) So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

 

If we reject God’s offer to come to Him and to enter His rest, we are left with trying to be made right with God through following His commands… something impossible for us to do. Like Israel, we will fall if we try.

 

God offers rest for the weary, strength for the weak, peace for the anxious, hope for the discouraged and forgiveness for the sinner. Why settle for religious do’s and don’ts?!

 

Life Application

 

Don’t settle for religion without relationship!

 

Where have I been just going through the motions? How can I be more intentional about “coming to Jesus” and entering His rest this week?

 

God, forgive me for the times I go through the motions. Forgive me for turning to other things for rest. Today, I choose to come to You. I choose to seek You, to pray and worship, and to enjoy the rest that comes from being in Your presence. Lord, increase our intimacy with You! Take us deeper in relationship! Show us the ways we’ve drifted and re-calibrate our hearts. May we be consumed with a greater passion to know You and make you known! Amen.

 

-Levi Thompson



Proverbs_11

Scripture:

Proverbs 11:24-25

24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Observation:

Proverbs is always full of wisdom and teachings, though written in biblical times, seem just as relevant today.

Understanding:

I think current times have shown the truth of these verses.

As we saw when the news of COVID-19 first hit, people began to “withhold unduly” as they filled their cupboards leaving the store shelves empty for others…sometimes those who needed it most.

Our life example, though, should follow that of our Father – one [who] gives freely…both to God and to those who He puts in our lives.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  Malachi 3:10

This is one area where God invites that we test Him. Awesome thing is, God is an extravagant giver. When we give freely, with trust in God as our provider, we gain even more. He cannot be outgiven.

Life Application:

Live and give generously.

May we be a source of refreshing…but recognize the source of our own refreshing.

May we be filled to overflowing, then pour out of our abundance.

Go love on somebody! <3

 

Rei



Proverbs_10

Scripture:  Proverbs 10:22  It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,

And He adds no sorrow to it.


Observation:  As evidenced by the first verse, this Proverb is written by King Solomon.  Through the next 12 chapters, Solomon gives a laundry list of contrasts of righteousness and wickedness.  “Each proverb is complete in itself, though some are linked by words or themes into series. They reveal sound psychology and accurate observation of life.  They demonstrate the outworking of wisdom and folly in the practical business of living”(Alexander, P. & Alexander, D.). Without giving the reader strict rules for life, Solomon gives us something that is a little more general, which can be applied to all of life’s circumstances and still point us directly to God.


Understanding:  My boys like the Star Wars movies.  Well really anything related to Star Wars, especially the Lego Star Wars.  And being that I really can’t stand the movie franchise, it’s as if I am being tortured all the time.  At some point or another, I have a kid asking me about different make-believe characters, planets, weapons, animals… it’s really never ending.  Not to say they aren’t good stories, I just prefer to have my fantasies be a little more down to earth (no pun intended) and believable. So I have tried to get my boys into westerns. 


One of the aspects of the movies, as a franchise, that gets to me is the repetition of the same plot.  The world is going bad, they look to this tiny group of zealots for a hero, a hero emerges and the world is saved.  Temporarily. Eventually, the bad finds a way and they have to find a new hero. They could make the same three movies over and over and over again and people will still watch them, no matter how predictable they are.


When we experience a crisis, humans react in the same way.  Something unexpected arises and we lose faith in humanity. I mean, I still can’t find any toilet paper.  But, God has been calling to us from the beginning, letting us know that he has always been the hope we need.  When we seek him for that hope, He makes us rich in ways we cannot even imagine and he does not dissapoint. As the verse states, he does it without sorrow.


God created us in His image (Genesis 1:27), so we owe it to ourselves to discover the goodness that comes in looking to Him for our hope.  Even though that may require some effort on our part. We know from scripture that the effort will not leave us empty. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.  He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever.  Psalm 146:5-6


Life Application:  Jesus, You are my hope and my salvation.  Even though the world seems to be falling apart around me, I know You have been there from the beginning.  You are the same hope from yesterday and will be tomorrow, I don’t have to look for a new one. Your plans are secure.   

 
-Tyler Galloway



Isaiah_25

Scripture – What stood out?

Isaiah 25:1 Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.

Observation – What does it say?

In this chapter the prophet Isaiah continues to deliver God’s message which forecasts the undoing of the nation of Moab, reveals the might of God, His character and predicts God’s future victory.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

I remember reading the bible at an early age and even listening to certain songs and thinking to myself,  there certainly is a lot of hyperbole to describe this God person. While reading verse 1 of this chapter the words “perfect faithfulness” and “wonderful” stood out to me. And for the briefest moment I remembered how I once thought of descriptors like this as exaggerated prose to describe this mysteriously perfect Creator.

But that is no longer the case for me. I’m not sure when the shift happened, but it did. To say that God is perfectly faithful isn’t Isaiah’s attempt at hyperbole. It’s an accurate description

And as I held on to this thought I read about Paul battling with the thorn in his flesh, a messenger from satan. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 he writes Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  

 

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

I don’t ever want to lose the perspective that God is perfectly faithful doing wonderful things planned long ago. And my hope is that if I hang onto that, then when I am asking God to remove some of my thorns, I will be able to accept it more easily when God tells me “My grace is sufficient. My power is made perfect in weakness.”

 

Lord, may I continue to learn about Your true nature and retain it in my heart and my spirit. Continue to guide my understanding of You.

In the name of Jesus, amen.

 

-kenneth lee 

 



Isaiah_24

 

Scripture

 

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭24:1-3‬ ‭NLT

 

“Look! The Lord is about to destroy the earth and make it a vast wasteland. He devastates the surface of the earth and scatters the people. Priests and laypeople, servants and masters, maids and mistresses, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, bankers and debtors—none will be spared. The earth will be completely emptied and looted. The Lord has spoken!”

  

Observation-What does it say?
 
All whose treasures and happiness are laid up on earth, will soon be brought to want and misery. Sin has turned the earth upside down; the earth has become quite different to man, from what it was when God first made it to be his habitation. The world we live in is a world of disappointment, a vale of tears; the children of men in it are but of few days, and full of trouble, See the power of God’s curse, how it makes all empty, and lays waste all ranks and conditions. Sin brings these calamities upon the earth; it is polluted by the sins of men, therefore it is made desolate by God’s judgments. Carnal joy will soon be at end, and the end of it is heaviness. Let men learn to mourn for sin, and rejoice in God; then no man, no event, can take their joy from them.-(Matthew Henry’s Commentary)
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
The time to repent from our sin and turn back to God is now!
 
I sound like one of those guys preaching with a megaphone on some street corner when I say that, but it is so true…especially in the time we are living in now! No government or economy is exempt from this pandemic we are facing right now. You see people being scattered and ‬‬isolated from one another-(vs. 1). You see hundreds of people dying, and this pandemic is only going on for 3 weeks! If we are to learn anything from the history of the Bible, you see that man’s wickedness awakens God’s wrath. The solution is quite simple: Turn away from our sin, and reach out to God. For believers, we need to stand in the gap for our fellow man, and pray for forgiveness, and repentance. We need to pray for this world’s salvation. For unbelievers, it’s time to put your faith in Jesus Christ. For it is only through our faith in Him that we are saved. The Bible tells us that God doesn’t want to see anyone go to Hell. He did everything possible for that not to happen-(see John 3:16). Some may think “Why would God let this happen?!” I see it as an opportunity, before it’s too late to accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation. Isn’t it time we wake up as a people, and put our faith and trust in Him?
 
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”-2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14
 
Life Application
 
Take advantage of this opportunity God has given you.
 
Some people are panicking. Some people lost their jobs. Some people are in need of supplies. Some people are sick and are in need of help. Some people just need a little light in their dark situation. “Calling my brothers and sisters in Christ!” Will you answer this call and opportunity that God has given us to be a light for those in need? Remember: “Good deeds leads to good will that leads to the Good News”-some wise old guy from DSC. 😉
 
-Moses Gaddi
‭‭‬ ‭


2 Corinthians 10

Scripture

 

2 Corinthians 10:17-18-17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[b] 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

 

Observation-What does it say?

 
The Apostle Paul is humbly defending his ministry to the Corinthian church.
 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

 

Paul did not seek glory for himself. He was trying to prove to the church that what he writes in his letters would translate the same if he was in person with them. I love the statement he gave at the end of this chapter. He boasts in the Lord, not in himself. God is the one who approves us, not men (or people). 

 

Life Application

 

The good works we do should boast of the Lord’s goodness, not our own. It gives us an “in” to share the Gospel message and our own testimony of His faithfulness and goodness in our lives, with others.

 

We do our Good Works not so that we can get a pat on the back or praise from people, but so that God would be glorified through them. 

 

“Good Works lead to Good Will that leads to the Good News.” -Pastor Gary Khan

 

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your Good Works, and Glorify your Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16 NKJV

 

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every Good Work.” -2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV

 

What good works have you done in the past couple of weeks?  Please share in the comment section so that we can give each other ideas of ways to continue to be on mission for Jesus Christ, even through this time. Thank you and blessings to you all!

 

-Michelle Gaddi



2 Corinthians_9

Scripture:

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 

Observation:

Paul is writing to the Corinthian Christians who were already well known for their willingness to give – so much so that they were an example to others. 

Understanding:

Therefore by their fruits you will know them. -Matthew 7:20

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. -John 13:35

Now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to live a life of example – both in our love and our generosity. 

Our giving should be…

  • abundant, bountiful
  • from a right and cheerful heart
  • for each one (everyone should give of what’s been given to them)
  • what’s been decided in our hearts (with the Holy Spirit’s prompting, but without coercion or manipulation)

As a result, our giving will be blessed and with abundance.  God is SO GOOD in that way!  He provides beyond what can be imagined, beyond expectation.  He’s the best provider, the best gift giver, outgiving even our best attempts.   

Life Application:

May we be crazy generous right now – with those we know, those we don’t.  May we listen in the stillness, quiet our hearts and hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit…whether it’s to share of an abundance of food, our last roll of toilet paper, a gift of soap or hand sanitizer or just an encouraging word. 

May we be known by our actions, our fruits and our love for others.  Go love on somebody! <3

Rei



2 Corinthians_8

Scripture  2 Corinthians 8:20-21  taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 

 

Observation-What does it say?  In chapters 8 and 9, Paul discusses generosity with the church in Corinth.  Specifically, he was addressing the collection of money for Christians in distress.  For this task, he left Titus in charge. In part, he did this to avoid any appearance of mishandling the money or embezzlement.  He goes on to point out that we are to serve others, so they can see God’s love through our service.  

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  It may be a little late to talk about Christmas, but a movie that I can watch all year is It’s a Wonderful Life.  I don’t know if it’s the way Jimmy Stewart’s voice lingers as he contemplates all the different scenarios he finds himself in, or the idea of a simpler time.  Regardless of the little nuances of the classic film, it is really the character of George Bailey that draws me in every time. George was a generous man, always giving and never asking in return.  This part of his character is what drew people to come to depend on him and love him so dearly.  

 

All too often, I think we get the perspective of George Bailey though.  We see our position as one without hope, especially when it comes to giving.  I know that I have believed the lie that my generosity will be of little help.  I fall into the belief that I can do no good, because what I have to give is small.  But even the smallest gifts, when given with the right intention, can have a big impact.  Jesus pointed out the offering of the widow, her last mite, was a bigger gift than the ones who gave out of their abundance (Luke 21:1-4).

 

Sometimes, we are called to be generous in the worst situations, when we feel as though we will not make it.  In these times, we are reminded that God provides (Matthew 6:25-34). It may be, in the times that feel the most vulnerable and least secure, that our generosity can have the biggest voice.  Paul reminds us, in the book or Romans, that unless we are willing to share God’s love, people will not hear the message of hope (Romans 10:14-15).


Life Application:  Jesus, help me to find myself in situations where I can be generous.  Even more, give me the boldness to share the gospel at these times. When I am scared, help me to trust in you and your provision.  Help us to find your peace, no matter the chaos going on around me.

 
-Tyler Galloway


2 Corinthians 7

Scripture 


2 Corinthians 7:10 


10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.


2 Corinthians 7:10 (MSG)


10 Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.


Observation


Paul, in his writing, is expressing how in his previous letter has spoken quite “frankly” to them. He expressed his love for the church he was writing to and even if his previous letter caused some pain He is glad that it brought them to repentance and closer to God. 


2 Corinthians 7: 8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.


Understanding


Have you ever had someone tell you something that hurt or stung you a bit. I think we all have. It may have made you feel a bit depressed for a minute and maybe just sad. But once you got over the initial pain of the sting then you were able to see what needed to be changed and now you are a better person because of it. 


In some ways I feel like the situation we are in now with the quarantine is providing a harsh word. We are able to see where a lot of our devotion has been; food, money, and of course toilet paper, among other things. 


For me I have taken for granted the comforts I have. 


Food. Money. Health.


I have been to countries where food does not come in abundance, it doesn’t not sit in a huge samsung refrigerator. It is sought out daily. 


Toilet paper is not even an option. It is for the wealthy and most of the people where I visited are not wealthy. In fact it was a way of life to not have toilet paper. Babies do not use diapers and wipes, it’s just a way of life. 


I have access to healthcare and even when I don’t I can take care of my health simply by making better choices in food and exercise.


I am starting to recognize the areas that need change. A change of my heart and my mind. 


I am filled with sorrow. 


“Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain…”


Application


The quarantine is causing some pain. Our comforts have been compromised. Our health is at stake. Now our finances are taking a hit. 


But don’t let it cause pain that leads to bitterness and discontent. Instead let it cause the pain that leads us to the presence of God in repentance. Let’s feel sorry that we have put other things above Him. 


The truth is that money is not my provider, God is.

He “owns the cattle on a thousand hills.”


Food does not sustain me, God does. 

He is the “bread of life.”


A virus does not determine my days on earth, God does. 

He is the “author of life.”


We have a great blessing that has been given to us, a chance to get alone with ourselves, reflect, and turn to God. Let us use our time of solitude from the outside world to draw near to God and open our ears to hear him and listen for his words that will bring about repentance and change. 


Deborah Lee