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!
 

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


2 Corinthians 2

Scripture 

 

2 Corinthians 2:14

 

…and to God are thanks, who at  ALL TIMES 

is leading us in TRIUMPH in the Christ, 

and the fragrance of His knowledge 

HE is MANIFESTING through us in every place. (YLT)

 

Observation 

 

A believer’s triumphs are all in Christ. To him be the praise and glory of all, while the success of the gospel is a good reason for a Christian’s joy and rejoicing. In ancient triumphs, abundance of perfumes and sweet odours were used; so the name and salvation of Jesus, as ointment poured out, was a sweet savour diffused in every place. – Matthew Henry Commentary 

 

Understanding 

 

I love this! At all times we are being led by Christ in victory!  Even as we are socially distancing ourselves for safety reasons God is leading us at ALL TIMES. And HIS knowledge is being made known to the people around us like a fragrance. 

 

People can detect it.

 

 It may not be visible at first but it is pleasing to them. The way it would be when you are in the presence of something that smells amazing!

 

In this moment of our lives we have an incredible opportunity to move forward in our Christian Faith and principles with courage and LOVE. 

 

Our times may be uncertain 

But HE is “the same yesterday, today, and forever!” 

Our times may be scary 

But “He is my rock and my salvation of whom shall I be afraid?”

 

 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 2 Cor. 2:15 (NIV)

 

Application 

 

Our mandate to “Multiply Christ Followers Everywhere” does not come to a halt, even in a pandemic. 

 

You can smell a fragrance even from a distance. Especially if there is a breeze that will carry the aroma to many places. The Holy Spirit is the wind we need to take the fragrance of His knowledge to the people it needs to reach. 

 

There are so many ways that we can share the love of Christ to those around us. Even when we are separated. 

 

How will you spread the fragrance of Christ to those around you?

 

  • Ask a grocery clerk how they are doing
  • Talk to your neighbors and find out if they need any necessities or prayer
  • Create a way to have face time with some of your friends
  • Write a letter or send a text to family members 
  • When your out shopping, look for ways to let someone have an item that maybe you were looking for too 

 

Be encouraged, strong and courageous! This is a unique time for Christians to put to practice all that we have been taught so that we can reap the harvest for God! 

 Deborah Lee



2 Corinthians 1

Scripture

2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭‬‬

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 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?
 
In this epistle, Paul is writing to the church in Corinth. Paul has been put through the “ringer” in life. So many times as he has gone place to place, sharing the gospel of Jesus, and has ran into opposition. From physical attacks against his body, to attacks against his character, Paul has suffered dearly. But as Paul writes this epistle to the church in Corinth, he finds God’s purpose in his sufferings. Paul understands that God is always there throughout his sufferings. He knows that God brings him comfort during those times. Paul knows that it is through that comfort from God, that he can bring that same comfort to others who are suffering as well. And from this, all will experience God’s love, comfort, and answer to prayers that will ultimately bring glory to God our Father!
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Finding God’s purpose during difficult times.
 
You ever wonder “why me God?!” Whether it is dealing with the death of a loved one, experiencing a grim health notice from your doctor, or even maybe experiencing financial difficulties. The truth of the matter is that God has a purpose for it all. But have we ever truly took the time to think about what that purpose is? I know the Apostle Paul has. Paul knew that the more he suffered in Christ, the more he would experience God’s comfort as well. He knew that others he came in contact with may have experienced similar sufferings in life, and that he may share with them that same comfort he experienced from God. It’s like a person who lost a loved one. Who better to bring comfort to that person than another person who experienced that same problem, and overcame that sorrow through the comfort of God? If anyone knows what that person is experiencing it would be him/her right? The bottom line is God has a purpose for everything in life. He shares with us the good times in life, but especially the bad times. His purpose is to make us grow, to be stronger in our faith, and to be more like His Son Jesus. And to be more like Jesus, we need to be more loving, compassionate, forgiving, and be able to bring comfort to those in need. So remember whenever those tough times hit us, God has a purpose behind it all. He wants the world to know Him. He wants the world to be able to experience His unfailing love, grace, and mercy He has for all who believe. So next time trouble hits, instead of asking “why me God?”, say “why not me?” Just know that God will give us the strength we need when we need it.💪🏽😊
 
“So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.”
 
2 Timothy‬ ‭2:10‬
 
Life Application
 
Being salt and light to the earth.
 
Like we learned this past Sunday, we as Christ Followers are change agents. We are called to be salt and lights to the earth. We should be illuminating God’s light/love to others. Or how Pastor Gary put it, we should be making an unseen God, seen. How do we do this? Through our actions and testimonies to others. What better time to do it than now? With the world living in fear and panicking over this Coronavirus, it is our time as Christians to shine bright. So while the world tells us we should be worried and scared, let us be the ones who bring peace and comfort. While the world fights in the lines at grocery stores, let us show love and grace. While the world hoards supplies, let us share with those in need. Let our lights shine so bright during these dark times so that all will see the glory of God.
 
-Moses Gaddi


1 Corinthians 16

Scripture 

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
 

Observation-What does it say?

In this chapter, Paul addresses a few things. From verses 1-9, he’s talking about taking a collection for the poor in Jerusalem. In verses 10-12, he is commending Timothy and Apollos for their work and labor in the Lord. In verses 13-18, Paul is exhorting the church about being watchful in faith and love. Verses 19-24 are Paul’s final greetings. (Reference: Matthew Henry commentary on 1 Corinthians 16)

 

Understanding and Life Application

Please watch Pastor Gary’s video that he emailed the church family yesterday. It’s based on the above passage. In light of the current circumstances, there is not much more that I can add to it.

 
Here’s the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/HztZrTITm58
 

Also, please worship Jesus in the midst of the fear and chaos surrounding us all. God continues to be good, unchanging, and with us through the storm. I love what Pastor’s wife DeLaine said at one of our worship nights. “The safest place to be is in the eye of the storm.” The eye is the calmest part of the storm.

Link to “See A Victory” by Elevation Worship: https://youtu.be/jEK6_rz26z0

 

-Michelle Gaddi



Isaiah_12 & Psalm_146

Scripture:

Isaiah 12:2, 5

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.

Sing to the Lord for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world.

Psalm 146:6

He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—

He remains faithful forever.

Observation:

Both Isaiah 12 and Psalm 146 speak of confidence we can/should have in the Lord – as our strength, defense, salvation and forever faithful.

Understanding:

Circumstances have changed – worldwide – over the last few months. But our mission hasn’t changed. We are here to love, to serve and to make God known. Great news is that no matter the circumstances we serve an unchanging, consistent and faithful Father.

Life Application:

Keep calm and carry on.

Keep calm and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Keep calm and depend on Jesus.

Keep calm and trust in the Lord.

Keep calm and seek first the kingdom of God.

Keep calm and let God handle it.

…keep calm, God’s got this! <3 But do was those hands! 😉
 
Rei


Psalm 145

Scripture:  Psalm 145:17-21  The Lord is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.  The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

 

Observation:  This Psalm, written by David, is titled as a song of praise.  Throughout this song, David uses the personal ‘I’ to declare his love for God, praising Him for His attributes and character: loving, forgiving, good and faithful, just and kind.  Of note in this song, is that it shows David taking action to place himself in a position of worship and humility. God’s goodness and patience is shown to those who place themselves in a posture of praise.  This is placed in contrast to those who choose wickedness, who will suffer death and separation from God.  

 

Understanding:  I recently read an essay regarding our actions of justice and mercy.  Generally, justice is understood as a punishment for wrongdoing. Whereas, mercy is understood as a remittance of that punishment.  The author of the essay, Matthew Myer Boulton, used the story of the Good Samaritan as a way to give an alternate definition of mercy.  

 

In the story, we are presented with the question of who our neighbors are.  We see the “insiders” of Jewish society acting in a way that is disobedient to God’s word, while seeing the “outsider,” who isn’t expected to hold up any part of Jewish law, acting in a way as to show love towards someone who, generally, would have treated him with contempt.  Boulton uses this act of love to display what mercy could be. “Rather than conceive “mercy” as the lenient remission of deserved punishment, this account invites us to conceive it as the practice of transgressive care, the humane and humanizing work of repair and reconciliation in human life.”

 

The Samaritan put himself in a position that honored God, even though he was not bound to any of God’s laws.  He acted in humility, and in doing so was offering praise to God. Much like David placed himself in a position of worship, realizing that he needed God and that in submitting to God he would find grace and mercy.  But, if David were to act wickedly, he would find himself receiving wrath from God instead. Many times throughout scripture, we are shown the things of God to be contrary to what we see in the world. Like when Jesus tells us “the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16).  A practical way to carry this out is by serving others before ourselves (Philippians 2:4-11). This helps to put us in the position of worship, where we will receive God’s goodness.  

 

Life Application:  Jesus, help me to look for ways I can serve others and place the needs of others before mine.  Especially in a time when people are in fear, help me to be gracious to others, help me to not get upset when all the toilet paper is gone, and trust that you will protect me when I am less than six feet away from others.  Help me to offer your peace to others when it would be easy to offer them impatience instead. Help me to be looking for my neighbor, so I can put myself in the position of worship.


-Tyler Galloway



1 Corinthians _13

Scripture

 

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

 

13 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.

 

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Observation 

 

I read this passage and I am overwhelmed with understanding. I can imagine Paul trying to explain how our works, or gifts, or talents, may be amazing!… But if they are not wrapped up in love then its as if they have been for nothing, they become invisible. 

 

Then… I imagine him being completely inspired by the Holy Spirit as he begins to pen what LOVE does. 

 

Understanding

 

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

 

1 Cor. 4:4-7 The Message 

Application

 

When the works, gifts, and talents that God gave to us are wrapped in love they become “activated” to complete the mission they were meant for. 

Holy Spirit fall on us! Inspire and empower us to to DO what LOVE DOES! Empower us to show YOUR love to ourselves and others. You are love! And that is the representation we need to be making to the world. In Jesus Name, Amen! 
 
Deborah Lee
 


1 Corinthians__12

Scripture

1 Corinthians 12: 17-18 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear where the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
 

Observation

As Paul continues writing to the church of Corinth about unity, he begins to make the analogy of the body Christ being like a physical, human body. He uses this analogy to further the idea that God’s people should be united as they make up one body, but every part is useful. He also contends that God has placed each person (or body part) exactly where they need to be, according to their calling.
 

Understanding

The tribe has not spoken, only God can do that.

*WARNING: I am about to expose myself for being a complete nerd, but I promise it’s how I made sense of this passage*

Ever since I was like 10 years old I have watched Survivor with my mom, so you can blame her for my obsession of the show. Aside from telling my mom that I’m going to play for a million dollars on the show one day, we always pause the show and breakdown the gameplay and strategy of all the players. If you’ve never seen the show, just know that you are better than me, and that the inherent ingredient to success in the game is lying and backstabbing your alliances. At the start of the game (before it becomes individual) they are always separated into two or three different tribes. The tribes must work together to build a shelter, provide food, make a fire, win immunity, and just survive. At tribal council, where someone gets voted out, you find out the most information that you can’t find out back at camp. Most of the time, the players look to eliminate threats early on in the game, which has always seemed counter-intuitive because you need them to win challenges. However, each player is always playing for themselves, and I always pause the show, look at my mom and say: “At what point do these people think my morals and who I am is not worth a million dollars?” She always replies with: “This is why you would never win…”

I say all that to say this: going to church is not a game of Survivor. As a matter of fact, Paul is saying quite the opposite. He’s mad at the believers in Corinth for thinking it is a game. In just looking at my Survivor analogy let me breakdown this passage in one simple statement: WE NEED EACH OTHER BECAUSE GOD HAS PLACED US WITH EACH OTHER FOR A REASON. We aren’t competing for a million dollars, the title of sole survivor and all that meaningless junk. Our fight isn’t of flesh and blood, so we shouldn’t be finding ways to fight against our own flesh and blood (our family in Christ). Each person within our church or our sphere of influence right now, has a specific role designed to accomplish the mission of God. Each mission is distinct and important, and to say that we don’t need each other or that it is only our own walk is simply ignorant. I get that working with people is tough (at least that what the show makes it seem like), but at the end of the day we can’t just vote people off our island because they irritate us. God is a master at this game of life, so if something or someone is placed within yours it isn’t an accident, there is something to be learned from or by them.
 

Life Application

Paul prefaces these chapters by saying that only God has the power to judge those on earth, so we need to stop trying to do God’s job. If you feel that you are going through a time where it doesn’t feel like it is divinely designed then ask God to reveal the lessons He wants you to learn. When HE reveals them don’t hesitate to actually learn from them and those people. Rei said it best on Monday, the only way we can truly show God to those around us is by loving one another. So show those around you the love of Christ, and thank them for being specifically placed in your life (don’t look to vote them out because they may be a threat). Who knows, maybe when you show gratitude toward those God has placed in your life, your attitude may change toward them as well.

-Allison Khan


1 Corinthians 11

Scripture
 
1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:1, 11-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
 
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ….Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
I love the Apostle Paul because he is such a straight shooter and unapologetic when it comes to His relationship with Christ. He continues to call out things in the Corinthian church that are causing confusion, disorder, and disunity among the believers. Chaos is the evil one’s business, so he is trying to dispel that from the church and bring Christ back on the throne. In this chapter, Paul is specifically addressing head covering in worship and the abuse of the Lord’s supper. I will be covering the head covering section.
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
Paul’s heart in talking about head coverings is to create unity, order, respect, authority and submission in the church.
 
Should men be allowed to have long hair? Should women be allowed to have short hair? Should women teach over a man? Should women have head coverings? Should women be yes robots to a man and submit in silence? Is Paul just irrelevant and outdated with what he’s talking about?
 
All of Scripture is God breathed and still relevant for today (2 Timothy 3:16). In addressing head coverings, Paul is speaking to a bigger heart issue of order, submission, authority and respect in the church.
 
In our “feminist” society where women empowerment has become a huge thing and men are being blamed for everything, I think what Paul is talking about in context is very relevant for today!
 
Life Application
 
Men and women need each other in the church and at home.
 
No gender is better than another. We need each other’s differences and similarities and we are not independent of each other. Women came from man, but man was also born from women, as Scripture points out in verses 11-12.
 
If God didn’t create a type of order for members in the church to follow and even husbands and wives to follow, major disunity would occur.
 
Personal confession: I’m a first born female raised by another strong first born female that was surrounded by only brothers. If anyone would be part of the feminist movement, it would be me. I still don’t submit in silence and push back at times. I am still working on some areas of trust/submission as God, my Husband and Pastor can attest to. However, because of the order that God has created and my growing trust in the authorities He’s placed over me, my life has become much more peaceful, in order and protected!
 
Who is or are the authorities that God has placed over your life that God wants you to trust/submit to? Your parents? Your husband? Your Pastor? Your boss at work? Your ministry leader? Male or female, as long as we are not being told to sin or compromise our integrity, we must submit out of reverence to Christ (Eph. 5:21).
 
Dear Lord, please help us to submit to one another out of love and trust for you and love for each other. Amen.
 
 
-Michelle Gaddi
 
Reference: au.thegospelcoalition.org (Head to Head about 1 Corinthians 11:3-16)
 
 


1 Corinthians_10

Scripture:

1 Corinthians 10:23-24,31-33

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.….31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Observation:

Lots of talk about eating and drinking.  [Which is less than awesome as I write this fighting my midnight snack cravings…and there are Girl Scout cookies in the house.]  Paul spends this chapter walking through scenarios of when it is okay to eat/not eat, accept not accept meat. 

Understanding:

The ultimate answer to this deliberation, though, has little do with meat at all; it comes down to love.  Living a life of love towards others – one that puts the good of others over the over our freedom of choice. 

It’s a reminder that our lives here on Earth are temporary and created with purpose – the purpose of knowing God and making Him known.  So, the answer to nearly any question about what to do or not do can be answered with “Show love.”  If we orient our thinking, our decisions to how we can best love others – in that true agape kind of love, looking out for their best interest – it makes our decisions easier, our relationships stronger and more genuine.

Life Application:

Go love on somebody! <3

We can love people in our actions, our words, our thoughts, our prayers, through gifts, through kindness…each of these comes down to a decisions we make – to take others into account, to put others first, to have a servant’s heart, to seek the good of many, not just our own.  So…what will you choose today?

We can do all things to the glory of God only when we remember the duty we must discharge to our fellow men; and we will do that only when we remember that our Christian freedom is given to us not for our own sake but for the sake of others. [https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/1-corinthians-10.html]