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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Problem

America is in turmoil. What's new? The most recent cause of division is a shooting in Florida. Everyone knows about it. I am not going to talk about politics or gun rights or gun control, etc. What I want to discuss here, if anyone still reads this (I understand that I haven't been very active in the past few years), is ideology. Beliefs. There are those who want to blame things. Those who want to blame the people who promote those things. They desperately want to point fingers at anything but the actual problem, which is in the heart of man. The cause of this shooting is not some big corporation that has millions of people in membership. The cause is not a government who failed to act on much evidence (although that may have been a factor). The cause of horrific acts of violence like this is something that those who do not believe in a biblical worldview cannot account for. It is sin. Guns do not cause people to want to kill people. Knives do not cause people to want to kill people. Bombs do not cause people to want to kill people. The evil in the heart of man is what causes a human to want to the lives of other humans. The problem is not those who oppose our own viewpoints. For someone to have another viewpoint does not automatically make them a monster. It does not make them a murderer. We need to stop dehumanizing our political opposition, because in dehumanizing them- in reducing them to their opinion- we make them less than human. And (I am paraphrasing Ben Stuart) when we have reduced our thinking about someone to one of their opinions, we can treat them as an opinion. When we have dehumanized someone, we can treat them as less than human. This is the problem with our social media saturated culture. We have begun to see people as words on a screen and have ceased to see our humanity. We have divided into our groups and villified those who aren't in our own groups. We have fallen into an "us vs. them" mentality. Out of this comes the "those who disagree with me are nazis" mentality. This is baseness. This is stupidity. It shows the lack of education, the lack of knowledge we have about who nazis were, about what nazism really is. As a society, we need to focus more on those issues which unite us, rather than on those which divide us. This is not a time for division and divisiveness, but for unity and peace making. We must learn again how to disagree with civility. We must learn how to listen to each other and how to discuss our differences with respectful dignity and not with angered hostility. It is a spirit of division causing the problems not people who think differently. Diversity need not divide us. 

In closing, when you come up against someone with whom you disagree, rather than becoming angry with them for that different opinion, take a moment and listen to them. Be respectful of them, hopefully they will be respectful of you, and let yourself be challenged. Formulate opinions. Don't be reactionary. Be thoughtful. Obviously, this is a good way to approach situations, but there are times when this won't work. In those moments, don't enter into the insults and derogatory behavior. Walk away. Not in an arrogant "I'm better than that" attitude, but in respectful humility. Treat others as human, even if they don't return that kindness. But don't belittle them by saying that you are doing that, though, because that defeats the point.

Don't forget that we are in this together. We all want what is best for OUR country, so let's work together to that end. Not against one another. 

Simeon

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I’m back... again.

Wow, I really have to get better at this posting thing. One day I’ll get consistent.
2018. Another year that I am grateful to be living the only life I have to the glory of our great and gloriously precious Savior. I get so caught up in my selfish living that I forget to stop and think about everything that the Father has done for me. Big things like sending the Son to become sin and, in doing so, redeem mankind (not to mention the Son sending the Spirit to dwell in us). But also the little things, like opening up parking spots when there seem to be none. So much has happened this last year, I can’t even begin to write it down for lack of space. One thing that I do want to share, however, is this song that I wrote.
It “came to me”, I guess one might say, during a time of deep depression last fall. Not like, “oh bummer, I had a rough day” blues, but never ever “what’s the point of going on” (by the grace and mercy of Christ, I have never been at that point). Still, it was bad. My point in sharing this is because of what happened next. The Holy Spirit, as He is known to do, convicted me in my self-centered lonely groaning and showed me all the things that He had accomplished in my life. All the people that He had used to help change me. All the work that was yet to be done. Work that could not be accomplished by sitting on the carpet in my living room, depressed about things I couldn’t change. He reminded me that some of the greatest songs of our faith were written by tortured souls in the midst of far worse situations than I was in, and that thought caused me to pour out my own heart to the Father in that moment. I’m not comparing my plush situation with that of the likes of Cowper or Spafford, but this song still comes from a low point in my life and I want to share it with whoever it is reading this now. I pray it will come as an encouragement and a reminder that the Author has written your story perfectly and He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Notice that key word “the”. What Scripture does not tell us is that the Lord works all things together for good. Rather, it is for the good of those who love Him... you may not see it now, but later, you’ll look back and thank Him for His mercy in letting you weather this storm now to learn lessons that will help you in tests to come later. Here it is, if it speaks to you, please share it. Hopefully it will bless others too. (I apologize for the audio quality, I have no other tools at this time)


I would say “I’ll try to be more frequent” but I’m not fooling anyone.

Simeon.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Encourage One Another

I'm going to try to be more consistent with this, guys, but I'm not going to promise because I want my word to start to mean something. Something that has been on my heart quite a bit lately is Colossians 1, but specifically verses 3-4 and 9-12. Paul begins this letter by telling the church at Colassae "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints because of the hope laid up for you in heaven." How often do we, not only thank our Father for the gift of faithful and godly friends, but also express this gratitude to those friends themselves? I hope you do it more than I do. A little gratitude can go a long way. We should live in a constant state of thanks, choosing to see the silver lining on even the worst of storm clouds. Sure, we can be happy people, but happiness is based on circumstances. Scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is to be our strength (Neh. 8:10b). This joy is not based on our circumstances. This joy is a way of life, an attitude towards living. Can we be happy? Absolutely. But, when we lose a job, a friend or family member that was so dear to our hearts, or even an opportunity that we had our hearts set on; although the happiness might flee, we must retain our joy. We must say with Habakkuk "Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor the fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God is my strength." (Hab. 3:17-19a). Why must we retain our joy, even though the world falls around us? Because our hope is not anchored on things of earth, which grow strangely dim in His glorious light. No, our joy must hinge on the goodness of our Father. The other part of Colossians that has been in my meditations lately is verses 9-12. 
After encouraging the Colossians to continue in their work and thanking them for their faithfulness, he goes on to say "so from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." Here we see the two-fold task that is ours; first, we need to express our gratitude to those who God has put in our lives as encouragers; and secondly, we need to return the blessing and be encouragers ourselves, in order to not use people but to be constantly thinking of others. We should, as Paul says here, be praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our request should be like this, asking that God give them a stronger and deeper thirst for Him and His will for our life, as opposed to our plan for our life. 


I encourage you to take a moment, maybe more, and think of someone who encourages you; but don't just think of them. Thank them. Then, find someone who you can encourage in Christ. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Lord, I Need You

Life is not meant to be lived alone. Life is not meant to be wasted. We, once saved, are not meant to remain in habitual sin. Yet, so often, we misunderstand the purpose of Christ's grace and mercy on the Cross. We fall into sinning that grace may abound. We claim to cling to Christ, but are not abiding in Him. We cry out to our Father for deliverance from sin that we hide in our closets and dark storage spaces, but we really don't want Him to take away this pet sin, this habit that has become so close to our hearts. We stop trusting Him to be the Good Father that we believed Him to be and buy into the lie that He is holding back from us. So we run to our addictions, to our vices and temptations, knowing that they only provide a temporary satisfaction, but not caring because at least there is "satisfaction." We forget that "those who live according to the flesh set their mind on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:5-6). We forget that the Christian walk is not a one and done thing. We don't just pray a prayer at the beginning of this new life and again walk away from Christ. Jesus told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. (John 14:15) This is not a call for legalism. This is a cry for relationship. We do not deliberately do things to our friends that we know they dislike. It's not because we are trying to earn their favor, but rather we are showing our love for them. With Jesus it is not much different, granted we may recoil at the thought of 'commandment' but He is not just our friend, He is also our Lord. No one can pluck us from His hand, but He can absolutely walk away from us. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23). It is not because He is unjust. Rather, this is because our faith is a two way street. If we don't walk with Him, pursue Him, live according to the His Spirit; we are walking in sin, pursuing sin, and living according to sin. It can be nothing else. There is only a two way street here. The one side leading to Christ and His glory, while the other leads to hell and God's wrath. Don't think for one second that this is peace. No. This is all-out war with the Deceiver. As John Owen said so eloquently, "Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.” Cry out for a thirst for Jesus. Beg Him for a love for Him that only He can give. He does, indeed, have water that can satisfy our deepest longings, but we have to ask Him for the desire for that water. He said  we would never be thirsty again. That doesn't mean that we won't need water, but we won't be thirsty because we can find all that we need, whenever we need it, in Him. The Living Water. So abandon your pet sins and addictions, the ones you don't want people to know about but that you aren't about to let go. Open your clenched fist and drop this mud at His feet. Like Adam Raccoon, let go of the little red ball that isn't necessarily bad, but is distracting you from King Aaron. Reach up and grasp onto that scarred hand and don't let go, because He won't let go of us. Don't forget that we need Him, oh we need Him. Every hour we need Him. Our one defense, our righteousness, Oh how we need Him. (That was paraphrased from Matt Maher's song "Lord, I Need You" a desperate prayer for relationship with our Savior). 


I hope you find this to be encouraging.
In Christ, the only Savior and our King,

Simeon Charles

Saturday, July 15, 2017

the wickedness of our hearts and the righteousness of our savior

"We think with our feelings, it's true. We allow our feelings to guide our thinking, and we shouldn't. Emotions are a wonderful gift from God should. And our relationship with God should bring to our lives strong godly affections. However, our emotions shouldn't be vested with final authority. This should be reserved for God's Word alone." ~ Sinclair Ferguson 


In our day and age, too many Christians, in an innocent attempt to encourage our church family, say, "follow your heart" but these brothers and sisters aren't seeing how misguided and even dangerous this is. Scripture clearly tells us "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick" (Jeremiah 17:9). Don't follow your heart. Don't listen to yourself. Do follow His. He won't lead you astray and His plans are always best. Do pray, like David, for our Father to create in you a clean heart. (Psalm 51:10) because He has promised to give us one (Ezekiel 36:26) We must lift our eyes up and run hard after that crown (the one that we'll be throwing at our Savior's feet). We must fix our gaze on the Lion of Judah and not look to the right or left. Then at the end, we can say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7). We must speak the truth of the glorious gospel to our hearts. "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body" (Colossians 3:15) and not forget that the head of that body is Christ (Ephesians 5:23-24). God is not our Genie. We are His servants, not the other way around. Again, let us not listen to or follow our own wicked hearts, but rather the heart of our ever-loving, always-good, righteous Father. 

return from absence

Wow. It's been almost two full years since I posted anything here. I am so sorry, if anyone still reads this, for the massive break in writing. The reason for this silence is, well, I joined the US Navy (hooyah) last year (22FEB2016) and then spent a year learning Russian. Now that I don't have three/four hours of homework a night, I will try to write more often. We'll see if people actually read it 😂😂😂. God has done so much with me in the past year and a half and I can't wait to share with you guys some of the bits and pieces. 


Simeon

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day


It is quite appropriate that Veteran’s Day falls so close to Thanksgiving. The wars (and conflicts) they have fought to defend, not only our country, but also other countries as well have brought us to where we are today and we should be extremely grateful for the sacrifices they have made to serve and defend freedom and democracy around the world.  
On my last day at Fred Meyer, I had the gift of helping a World War II veteran at the deli. As I handed him his food across the counter, I realized that I may not get many chances to speak with someone who fought in that awful war, so not knowing what quite what to say, I blurted out,
           “Thank you very much, sir, for your service. I'm really grateful.”
           He smiled and replied, “Thank you for your service, you're good at what you do. Would you be able to ring me up?”
            To which I answered, “Unfortunately not. They haven't trained me on the register yet.”
             “Well they better get on that soon, they're wasting good talent.”
              “Well, sir, they've run out of time. Today's my last day.”
             "And why would you quit? You're fantastic at this!" He winked, “Are you moving on to brighter opportunities?”
              “The Navy called and I answered.”
              “Navy? Why Navy? You know you wanted the Army,” he grinned, “They need boys like you.”
              “Thank you, sir,” I laughed.
              “Can I shake your hand son?”
             I got a massive lump in my throat. What do I have to give that would cause someone like this to ask that? I got kind of emotional as I replied, “Sir, I would be honored to shake yours.”
            With a smile and wink he said, “It's been a pleasure, son. You be good now.” And then he was gone.
What I wouldn't give to be able to sit down with men like that and hear the wealth of stories that they have to tell. 
Please be sure to thank a veteran today. You are free because of them... because freedom isn’t free and they had to pay the price. 

Simeon

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

FIGHT!!!!

We have an enemy that is out to destroy us. We can not give this enemy a foothold in scaling the walls that defend our hearts. This fight is something that we have can have no rest in. There can be no “I’ve done well recently so I can give in now.” No!!! Fight! Fight! FIGHT!!!!!

“Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage rage against the dying of the light.” 

We must constantly be maturing and growing in our faith in Christ and wine walk with Him. RAGE!!!! 

“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard from hell” [C.T. Studd]


"We Christians are debtors to all men at all times in all places, but we are so smug to the lostness of men. We’ve been “living in Laodicea ”, lax, loose, lustful, and lazy. Why is there this criminal indifference to the lostness of men? Our condemnation is that we know how to live better than we are living." LIVE BETTER!
--Leonard Ravenhill

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mistakes

There's been a lot on my mind recently. I won't go into detail. I've just made some stupid decisions and am having to pay the consequences. Jesus is good and in His grace, I may have a chance to repair some of the damage I have done, but I'm not getting my hopes up. He is my everything and, although I do wish that I could redo what I have done, I am thankful for Him allowing me to screw up so awfully because it drove me to repentance in regards to some habitual sin that I had kept hidden in my life. It's caused me to come clean and be honest with my family. Don't think for one second that your sin only affects you. It doesn't. Repent. Change. Pray fervently that He will change your heart to be more like His. The road to recovery after being honest and open and real about sin won't be easy. Trust me. I know. I'm still on that hard and devastating trail. But He is faithful. Ever faithful. The hardest part is trusting in His promise to bring about good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. It is the throwing all control for what happens next at His feet that is most difficult, but in the end, it will be worth it. After all, He is in control; we are just foolish enough to think that we have a say. Please pray for me. I will also pray for you. We're all in this together. We are one body, the Church. He is faithful. We are faithless. With His help and by the grace of God, we can become faithful.

Simeon

Friday, September 4, 2015

My Heart is Not Set on You



                        One of the things that I love about Scripture is that I can read through it countless times and still read something that hadn't noticed before. Like Psalm 131 for example. Verses one and three have been my prayer for some time now and here I find that David prayed the same way. It's similar to what the Apostle Paul says in one of his letters, and I paraphrase, “I do what I know I shouldn't and don't do what I know I should.” In Gethsemane, Jesus told his disciples, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Isn't that the truth? I know it is for me. I will continue to strive to put my faith, gain my joy, and find my assurance in Christ. What about you? 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ocean Shores - 2015

Hey everybody, check out this video!!! It's just something that I put together from the footage of a trip some friends and I took to Oceans Shores, Washington earlier this summer. Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Y H8?

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Smile. Exhale. Feel better? Okay. Today, my news feed has blown up with diatribes from both ends of the argument as to whether or not it is an infamous or dubious historical event. I am not going to comment on what I think about it. You probably know... or maybe you don't. I have one question though:

Can all the hate from and towards both "sides" just stop please? Christians, the world is not ending any faster because of today. As always, we're supposed to "do unto others as we would have others do unto us." Matthew 5:43-47 reads, “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Jesus said, “They will known you by your love for one another” and the Christian community doesn't even have THAT down yet. Jesus said to remove the plank in our eye(s) before we point out the speck in other people's eyes. Sure, we may not see it as a speck, but you (the Christian person) aren't perfect and need Jesus every day, just like everyone else. To the "left," please just be a little less in our face about all this, I get it. You are excited that the definition of marriage got changed, but be a little less spiteful and angry. 


In closing, for everybody, Love didn't finally win today. Love won two thousand years ago on a hill called Golgotha where Jesus died for the sins of the world... not just the people I want to be saved. Whether you believe He was God or not, it's a fact that His purpose in dying was to save sinners. I will do my best to be a better example of what Christ wanted and hopefully you (dear reader) will join me in becoming more like Him, willing to love even your enemies unconditionally and also wiling to lay down your life for the sake of the Gospel. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Smile. Exhale. Feel better?


Thanks for reading.
In CHRIST WHO LOVES ALL!
Simeon

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Simple Things



it's the simple things – from the soft glow sunsets against the silhouette of the Olympics to the clear blue days with no clouds in the sky all the way down to acres of plain green grass – that make me stand back in amazement and ‘then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee, how great Thou art!’

I am more than a little bit grateful for being able to live in the Pacific Northwest.

It's the simple things I'm referring too in this post so I'll keep it very simple. I don't want you to stay here too long because you should put down your phone (or close down your computer) and go enjoy those simple things.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Who Holds Your Future?

                Sure, it takes a great amount of humility to believe that you can't save yourself; but to claim that the faith you hold is the one (and only one) that can save every living person is dangerous. What we're gambling with is eternity and it's important to be sure on what you believe. I'm a Christian because it doesn't make sense for God to become a man to save His creation... the very ones who have sinned so greatly against Him. The other religions have people claiming to be God, but never God claiming to be a man. Christianity is the only faith that doesn't require me (or you) to redeem myself with my own strength or with how good I can be. It is the only religion that says, “You are such a horrible person that, if you want to reach heaven, you need to be saved by Someone greater than yourself.” But it also says, “That Someone loves you so much that He took your punishment and died to take your sins away. He is the only way to the Father.” Again, it doesn't make sense, and I figure, if this God doesn't make sense, He must be a whole lot smarter than me (Isaiah 55:6-9) and if He's smarter than me... It would probably be best for me to believe  in His plan. I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future. I have faith in the saving blood of Jesus Christ. I pray that you do too.