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 34

Scripture:  Psalm 34:17-18  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 

Observation-What does it say?  David had an eventful life.  From his humble beginning as a shepherd and being the youngest in his family.  For a time, he was King Saul’s personal harp player.  He was then thrust into the limelight after killing Goliath.  Taken into the kingdom and made the leader of Israel’s military.  After time, Saul grew jealous of David, knowing that he would ascend the throne of Israel, and he made multiple attempts on his life.  

 

From the title of this Psalm, we know it was written in a period when David was fleeing for his life from Saul.  The time in which he “feigned madness” was documented in 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1.  It is from this place of uncertainty that David was able to write, “I will bless the Lord at all times” (34:1).  In faith, David sees God’s deliverance, even though he is not living in it.  In obstinance of what he sees, which is complete chaos, he trusts in God’s provision for those who are broken.

 

Understanding-What does it mean?  For most of my life, I have been called an “old soul.”  Which carries into my love of hymns.  One of my favorite hymns, “It Is Well,”  was written by Horatio Spafford in the wake of a horrible tragedy.  Once a prominent businessman, Spafford lost all of his assets in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.  His son died a short time before this.  Then in 1873, he was set to take part in a missionary trip to England with Dwight Moody.  Delayed by business, he sent his wife and four daughters ahead, with plans to follow only days after.  The ship carrying his wife and daughters was struck by another ship and sank, killing his four daughters.  

 

After receiving the news of the loss of his daughters, Spafford sailed across the Atlantic to be with his wife.  It is said that as he crossed the place where his daughters died he penned the words of the hymn.  When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.   

 

The uncertainty of today definitely feels like we are in the midst of a billowing sea.  But, God’s word tells us of his goodness and His plans for a bright future.  It is in these times where faith needs to take hold, even amidst what we cannot see.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  When we look at these incidents from a perspective focused on heaven, we know they will all be in the goodness of God’s plan (Romans 8:28).

 

Life Application  Jesus, help me come to know you more intimately, where my faith in you will abound more.  Fill me with peace, even when the world feels as though it is trying to tear me down.  Help me to see this world from the view of eternity, where there is no more sorrow.  Teach me to say, it is well with my soul.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcp6w4zaW7U

-Tyler Galloway  





Psalm_33

Scripture – What stood out?

Psalm 33:5 (NIV) The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 

 

Observation – What does it say?

Written by an unknown author, this is a psalm of praise to God. The psalm is a reminder of why we worship God, why He is worthy of all that praise and just exactly why we put our hope, our trust and our faith in Him.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

The phrase that stood out to me in verse 5 was “unfailing love”. It kind of caught me off guard. I have heard the phrase that God’s love never fails, but for the first time I sat and thought about God’s unfailing love.

To try and understand what “unfailing love” I began to think about…failing love. What type of love has failed me in the past? Parental love. Marital love. Romantic love. Brotherly love. Friend love. Self love. All have failed me at one time or another. Our love fails.

 

But God’s love is…unfailing.

 

And that is how God loves. His love doesn’t falter, or slip up, or forget, or fall short.

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

Has love ever failed you? 

 

Lord I can spend the rest of my time here on earth thinking about love that has failed me. Instead, I ask you Lord that I would spend the rest of my life dwelling on a love that never fails. I think about Your life, Your ministry, Your work in Calvary and I know that I am just scratching the surface.

May I spend the rest of my life trying to understand your brand of love. A love that never makes a mistake. A love that never falters. A love that never fails.

 

In the name of Jesus do I pray, amen.

-kenneth lee

 



Psalm 32

Scripture

Psalm 32: 6-7

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
 

Observation

David writes form a place of introspective worship to God, proclaiming that He provides peace and comfort to a tired and weary soul. Within these two verses he provides an outline to achieving liberation and deliverance for the soul.
 

Understanding

When I was little (and still now) when I have a bad day and need a good cry I always go to my parents for comfort. My dad just holds me and lets me cry, and everything seems to melt away and I feel safe in his arms. HE for the most part is my hiding place during these times of distress and trouble, and I don’t have to worry about anything else. That is exactly what I imagined when I read these verses today, and they hit me like a ton of brinks, but in a good way.

They echo snatching victory from the jaws of defeat! And they lay out exactly how to do that.

  1. Intercession: He begins by saying “Therefore let all the faithful pray for you while you may be found…” implying that someone is lost, and others are praying for them to find their way home. I think this is very indicative of the current state of our world right now. Lost, and searching for answers (or a way home). David reminds us that the journey home, although difficult, starts with prayer.
  2. Protection: “surely the rising waters will not reach them. You are my hiding place…” I can’t stop saying “you are my hiding place.” There’s security in those words like no other. However, the protection only came because someone prayed for the directions home, and that person decided to follow the road map. So my little side note would be to STAY THE COURSE no matter how difficult. Because when you do, you will find the greatest comfort waiting at the end of the road.
  3. Liberation/Deliverance: “and surround me with songs of deliverance…” From protection come liberation, came relief, came freedom! Safe in the arms of the Father, nothing can touch you, harm you, or threaten you. This is what are nation is starved for, but it begins with intercession.
 

Life Application

We are not in a fight of flesh and blood, yet we’ve been suiting up for battle with all the wrong weapons. Our world is starved for change and I think it’s time we turn to the only hiding place we haven’t been to yet. My soul waits for Him and Him alone, but until we meet I will be in fervent communion with my Creator.

-Allison Khan

PS If you find yourself worried or stressed I have found that saying “you are my hiding place,” makes every anxiety and fear melt away.



1 Timothy___1

Scripture  

 

1 Timothy1:12-17 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Observation-What does it say?

 

Paul is giving his testimony of the grace and mercy the Lord has shown him in his life. He also shares the Good News of Christ’s testimony and gives all the honor and glory to God for who He is!

 

Understanding-What does it mean?

 

We must not forget where we came from.

 

No matter how much influence Paul was blessed with, he remained humble by remembering God’s grace and mercy upon His life and being grateful for it!

 

Life Application

 

Be grateful.
 

During last Sunday’s livestream, Pastor encouraged our church to post something everyday on social media that we were grateful to the Lord for. 

 

I will write my personal version of the first part of Paul’s testimony, since it is focused on thanksgiving to the Lord.

 

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, that He has given me strength, that He considered me trustworthy, appointing me to His service. Even though I was once very depressed and hopeless, a victim of my circumstances, who put guys on the throne of my life instead of Jesus, fell into the looks, worldly success and comparison trap and was very prideful, I was shown mercy. The grace of our Lord Jesus was poured out on me abundantly! To God be the honor and glory forever! 

 

What are you grateful to the Lord for this morning? Please post it in the comments section and on social media!

 

-Michelle Gaddi



Psalm_30

Scripture:

Psalm 30:11-12

You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Observation:

David is sharing his heart in song – speaking to the unchanging nature of God.

Understanding:

My heart has been heavy for weeks.  It’s interesting because there is a just as much a sense of unity between some as there is divide among others.  But, if I’m hones, I’ve been more on the wailing side than dancing.  In times like this, it’s helpful to be reminded of God’s nature, of His heart towards His children, of a heart that loves bigger and greater than any human heart can. 

Life Application:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

For more verses or guidance on how, go here ->

https://www.biblemoneymatters.com/bible-verses-about-worry-how-to-cast-your-cares-on-him-in-the-midst-of-trouble

Rei



2 Thessalonians 2

Scripture:  2 Thessalonians 2:15-17  So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.  May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.


Observation-What does it say?  This second letter from Paul to the church in Thessalonica came only several months after the first.  He wrote it with the intention of clearing up questions left from the first letter, primarily concerning Christ’s return.  The second chapter discusses a great rebellion against God, which will be headed by the “lawless one.”  Before this time there are forces opposing evil, but  when this day comes these will be no more.  Victory will then come when Christ appears.  Paul encourages the Thessalonians to stand firm in their faith until the day of his return.  


Understanding-What does it mean?  Sometimes, I think I may be the luckiest guy in the world.  Generally speaking, there is nowhere I would rather be than at home.  This has mostly to do with the people who are there to make it the best place in the world to be.  In comparison to some families mine is still quite young, Jen and I have only been married for twelve years.  But, we have already outlasted the national average by about four years.  Either way I still love spending time with her and our boys.  When I am away from home, I have faith in her that she will still be there when I come home.  But, how did I come to this faith in her?  It was through spending time with her that I have come to know her heart and the little things that make her tick.


Similarly, how do we hold strong to a faith in Christ in the face of the adversity the world throws at us?  Much like I have faith in Jen, our faith in Christ grows through getting to know Him.  Getting to know him, having a secure relationship with him comes through prayer and time spent reading His words to us, the Bible.  With all the uncertainty in the world, it could be easy to give up all hope.  However, God has promised to carry us through the uncertain time.  We need only to meet with Him to receive the peace he brings.


Prayer, though, is more than just asking God for things.  C.S. Lewis explains it this way, in his essay The Efficacy of Prayer, “Prayer is either a sheer illusion or a personal contact between embryonic, incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person.  Prayer in the sense of petition, 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.  What He does is learned from what He is.”

Life Application:  God you are my strength and my refuge, in you I find my peace.  Help me to come to you daily and know you more.  Help me to be still and know you (Psalm 46:10). 
 
 
-Tyler Galloway



Psalm_28

Scripture – What stood out?

Psalm 28

3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.

4 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.

Observation – What does it say?

A psalm of David, calling to God for help as he reminds himself who God really is – merciful, strong, his fortress, his praise and his savior.

Understanding – What does it mean?

As we continue moving forward in this strange strange year I am reminded by king David of who is in control of doling out both mercy and justice. In a time where confusion, chaos, anger and hate seem to swirl about uncontrollably David reminds us who is responsible for paying evil what it is due.

I understand the need for order and law in our society, I just wish we weren’t so consumed by it. Or the need to have power over people. I would rather imagine a world where we are consumed instead with knowing God over everything.  As Jeremaiah writes in 9:24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”

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

I once heard a preacher by the name of Ravi Zacharias preach on a very difficult topic and he ended his message with this (I am paraphrasing) ”Let God be the judge and executioner. He has asked you and I in His service to love others. And that is what we ought to do.”

Lord I am not sure where I stand on anything anymore. But may I never forget,

That You love me.

And that I need to share that love with others. No matter what.

In the name of Jesus, amen.

-kenneth lee



1 Thessalonians_5

Scripture-‭‭

 

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:12-13‬

 

“Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.”

 
Observation-What does it say?
 
Paul is giving his final advice to the Thessalonians. This advice includes honoring their spiritual leaders by showing them respect and love, living peacefully with one another, being patient with everyone, encouraging one another, staying away from evil, taking care of those in need, to always be joyful and thankful in all circumstances, always strive to do good for one another, and to never stop praying.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Are you a wing or a weight?
 
I heard a podcast where a pastor asked his congregation that same question. Basically are you a person who encourages others, who helps those in need, and helps lifts their spirits to becoming the person God calls them to be? Or are you the person who brings negativity, who is constantly complaining, criticizing, and weighing others’ spirits down?
 
As God’s people we are called to be light and salt to this world. The world (especially now), is a very dark and dreary place to be in. So we as God’s people should be shining our lights out there. Go reach out to your church family. Encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ, pray for them, and see if they have a need that you can help them with. Go out into your workplace, neighborhood, and community. Be praying for them to come to know Christ. Look for opportunities to be a light or a wing in their lives. Don’t be a weight that weighs people down. Be a wing to lift them up! Be part of the solution, not the problem.
 
“The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.”-‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭10:11
‬ ‭
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬
 
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:29‬
 
Life Application
 
Seek someone out today that you can bring encouragement to! ☺️
 
The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the human body. It has the power to build up, or tear down. How will you choose to use it?
 
As for me, I want to take this time to honor our Pastors at DSC. The Holy Spirit really highlighted the verse I chose to journal on this morning for this specific reason. Thank you Pastor Warren for your gentleness. You are so loving and caring towards the people God put you responsible for. Thank you Pastor Levi for your work with our youth. I’m confident knowing that Justin and you are building a strong foundation in our youth. Helping them build their faith to ready them for the “grown up world”. I look forward to the times my girls can benefit from that group. Finally, I want to thank Pastor Gary. Thank you for your leadership and for being a mentor to my wife and I. I know you have to make difficult decisions for our church family, and that not everyone will be pleased by them. But with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, you make those tough decisions to try to help grow our church not only physically (in numbers), but most importantly spiritually. Thank you for being a Pastor who not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. So thank you all for all you do to make DSC a church which our family is proud to call home. You all have played vital roles in helping my family and I grow in our walk with God. Love you all!
 
-Moses Gaddi


1 Thessalonians_4

Scripture

 

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 

 

Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

 

Observation-What does it say?
 
The Apostle Paul continues writing to the Thessalonian church and addresses their Christian walk. He urges them to continue to love one another, but to also make sure that their daily life wins the respect of outsiders. 
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Paul is telling the church that their lives are a walking testimony. 
 

He begins chapter 4 by talking about sexual immorality and the importance of controlling our own bodies and living a pure/holy life. Then he goes on to talk about love for each other (specifically speaking to loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ). Finally, he speaks about being a hard worker and leading a life that wins the respect of outsiders.

 

Life Application

 

Does our daily lives lead others to praise Jesus or does it lead others away from Him? 

 
Daily life is not just about church ministry. It also means at home, when no one is looking. How is our love for others, servant’s heart and integrity when no one is looking and when we aren’t rewarded in this world for it? 
 

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in serving the saints, as you still do.  And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” -Hebrews 6:10-12

 

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:58

 

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16

 

Dear Lord, I pray that my daily life would win the respect of outsiders and that my good deeds would lead others toward Your throne of grace and a personal relationship with You. Amen. 

 

-Michelle Gaddi



1 Thessalonians_3

Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 3:1-3,5

So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them…. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.

 

Observation:

This chapter speaks to the love of Paul towards the Thessalonians, his heart’s desire towards their continued building of faith and the happiness he felt in knowing they had stayed the course, even in the absence of those that had initially shared the gospel with them. 

 

Understanding:

Paul had a leader’s heart for the Thessalonians.  He was concerned about them, about their faith, about how they were handling persecution, worried that they had been tempted to disregard and leave behind their faith.  So he sent reinforcements – someone he loved and who’s character he trusted – with the intention of checking on them and, if needed, encouraging them. 

 

“Though [Paul] was hindered from going to them himself, yet his love was such that he could not forbear sending Timothy to them. Though Timothy was very useful to him, and he could not well spare him, yet Paul was content, for their good, to be left alone at Athens.”

https://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=52&c=3

 

This struck me because, I feel like there are many that weary right now.  2020 has been…trying, exhausting, emotional, frustrating, heartbreaking.  No doubt everyone has been impacted…whether by the coronavirus or illness, financial stresses, anxiety, hurt and/or outrage at the events around death of George Floyd and/or the worldwide outcry that has followed.  I can’t think of one person that has been left unaffected.

 

So what is our response as a church, as individuals within our community and our own centers of influence?  We need to have love like Paul.  We need to check on those we love and care about.  We need to encourage others in their faith.  We need to look to meet people’s needs.  We need to follow the example of the early church. 

 

Life Application:

12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 

 

May we have God’s heart towards those we know and those we don’t.  Listen to understand.  May we be the ones that let people be seen, heard and loved.  We must put our love in action. 

 

Rei