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!
 

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 



Proverbs__3

Scripture

Proverbs 3:27

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
 

Observation

King Solomon continues the proverbs by speaking about wisdom and how it applies to a person’s well-being. In this section though, he contends that our own well-being is reliant on giving honor where it is due. He extends this by urging people to act in love, so that they can then grow in wisdom.
 

Understanding

Gratitude leads to growth in wisdom.

I pride myself on being a student. It’s something that I use to define myself in everyday life just because I love learning so much. I love the idea that “knowledge is power” because I honestly think that it is, and with knowledge is this huge responsibility to impart it to others. Something that I recently discovered (that kind of crushed me) is that knowledge and wisdom are not the same thing. I figured if I was smart and had information I would impress upon people the desire to learn as well. However, something that Solomon knows really well and is trying to impress on people here, is that knowledge and wisdom are not equivalent. Knowledge is useless without the wisdom to yield it. A better way to explain this idea would probably be from my favorite book To Kill a Mockingbird: “Folks don’t like to have someone around knowing more than they do, it aggravates them. You’re not going to change anyone by talking right, they’ve got to want to learn themselves…”

I guess what I’m trying to get at, is that in order to share your knowledge and understanding with people, you have to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. If I simply start by telling all I know it threatens people and pushes them away from me. I’m still trying to learn this lesson, and believe me when I say that I have experienced this many times in my twenty years on this planet. Knowing this and applying this, Solomon argues, is the first step in becoming wise. So don’t withhold good, withhold what you may know. Calpurnia said it best, “they’ve got to want to learn themselves,” but sometimes just investing in them pushes them towards wanting to learn and listen to what you have to say. This is the secret ingredient to wisdom beyond understanding: appreciating people for who God created them to be. I once heard a wise old guy say that “good deeds leads good will that leads to the Good News.”
 

Life Application

Let’s be a people who are all about good things! Don’t withhold gratitude when it is due, especially because it is the first step in attaining wisdom. Also because Solomon ends this chapter by saying:

The wise inherit honor, but fools only get shame.

Think about what you are thankful for, if it is a person, let them know! Even if it isn’t a person share what you are thankful for with others, and maybe it will lead to them thinking about they are grateful for and so on. And from there your knowledge has done the amazing and turned into wisdom for others.

-Allison Khan


Isaiah_18

Scripture

 

Isaiah 18:4

This is what the Lord says to me:

“I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place,

like shimmering heat in the sunshine,

like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”

 

Observation – What does it say?

 

All over the earth people have enemies, people who threaten to harm them, groups of people who instill fear. In the midst of it all, God declares that He is watching quietly from where He dwells. The following verse says that before the harvest begins, at just the right time, God will act.

 

Understanding – What does it mean?

 

At times God watches “behind the scenes” quietly. He is in control, calm and at peace. Because, when the time is right, He knows where and how to act. Although nations rise and fall, God is constant. He is always good, always faithful, always working everything for the good of those who love him.

Often I find myself desiring God to act in certain situations. In my foolishness, I can think I know better than God and I know what God needs to do or should have done. But the truth is that He, in His infinite wisdom and love, knows exactly what to do. He is never indifferent. He is never turning His back on those who are hurting. Rather, He is completely aware, looking on at everything happening, and is working everything for the good of those who love him.

 

Life Application

 

Trust that God knows what He is doing.

 

God, even when I see tragedy in the world, rather than doubting You, I choose to trust that You see things I don’t see, that Your ways are higher than mine, that Your wisdom is greater than mine, and that Your love is infinitely deeper than mine. Amen.

 

-Levi Thompson



2 Corinthians_4

Scripture:

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 

Observation:

Our light affliction: Why is our affliction light and not heavy? Because even the worst of it, by the measure of eternity, is but for a moment. This is partially true in the sense that most of our troubles come and go, and “this too shall pass.” It is also true in the sense that even a long life by this world’s standard is nothing on the scale of eternity. Even if one were to live for a hundred years and suffer every day, by the measure of eternity it is but for a moment. [https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/2-corinthians-4/]

Understanding:

Some may say the world – financially, physically, the job market, etc. – is “wasting away.” However, even in these times, we are told “do not lose heart.”  Our troubles are considered “light and momentary.”  Light because we’ve got a God with strong, broad shoulders that will carry the weight.  Momentary when compared with eternity.  So…

Life Application:

Do not lose heart! <3 

Turn and fix your eyes upon what is unseen, what is eternal.  Keep things in perspective, which may be hard to do at times (especially when media headlines are what they are and coming at you from all directions!)…so stay grounded, stay connected to the family, to the word, to God and Do. Not. Lose. Heart.  When you’re up, share your light and love with the world that needs it.  When you’re down, get connected. 

Go love on somebody today – with clean hands and from at least 6 feet away! 😉

Rei



2 Corinthians_3

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 3:17-18  17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

 

Observation:  In 1 Corinthians, Paul was dealing with a division among the members of the Corinthian church.  There were members at odds with each other over which teaching of the gospel was correct. In this second letter, the division seems to have gone from bad to worse for a period of time.  In chapter three, Paul writes in defense of the new covenant. He compares the old covenant and the new, the covenant of Moses with the covenant of Christ, striking an imagery of things written on stone (covenant of Moses, and the ten commandments) and things written on the heart (covenant of Christ).  We see a contrast of promises that are dead, to promises that are alive. Paul proclaims that we have freedom and life in the covenant of Christ, who freed us from the bondage of the law.  

 

Understanding:  One of my favorite rides at the magic kingdom is Pirates of the Carribean.  While it’s all in jest, at the beginning of the ride you are warned of what is to come and advised to abandon hope.  “Psst! Avast there! It be too late to alter course, mateys…and there be plundering pirates lurking in every cove, waitin’ to board. Sit closer together, and keep your ruddy hands inboard. That be the best way to repel boarders. And mark well me words, mateys…dead men tell no tales!”  Compare this with another boat ride. At the turn of the century (twentieth century that is), as boat loads of people were making their way to New York seeking a new life. One of the first things they see is the shimmering (at the time) Statue of Liberty. A promise of hope for change and freedom.

 

In Christ we get the same opportunity.  We take a boat ride down the way of the world, we see no other warning sign except to abandon hope, especially when times get tough.  But, when we accept the gift of the gospel, we are offered freedom. Freedom from chaos, and worry, anxiety, fear. We know, from the many witnesses that have come before us, that there is hope unending in Christ.  Scripture tells us, don’t be anxious (Philippians 4:6), we have hope unlike the world (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14), God will take our worries (1 Peter 5:6-11). God is the beginning of all things and the end of all things, only in Him is there hope.  So abandon all fear, all ye who enter here.


Life Application:  Jesus, even though there is temptation, let me not lose sight of your goodness and grace.  Have your love flow through me in this time of need. Help me to be generous in the face of chaos.  Most of all, thank you for the peace that surpasses all understanding.

 
-Tyler Galloway