Author Archives: Brandon

Weird Time

Have you ever noticed there are more things that want your time than there is time for?  As a husband, dad, pastor, and friend, most of the things that want my attention are really good things, even important things. Then there are things that I want to do.  I would love to lead a high school guys small group, I would love to create a high school discipleship intensive, I would love to do crossfit,  I would love to be in a life group that I am not leading.  All of these are really good things.  All of them would make me more effective at what I do… Or so it would seem. 

photo-1455651512878-0ddbb4c4d0a5What if I said yes to all of those things?  I would not have enough time for my wife, kids, having a sabbath day, or sleep enough at night.  What if doing all of these good things could kill the great things I could do?  I have a tendency to try to live like a super hero, like I don’t need sleep, a day off.  Or I act like my marriage doesn’t need attention.  Or I act like I don’t need to work out. Here is what I have learned.  I am very human.  I need rest, I need to exercise, I need to eat right, I need to go on dates with my wife, I need time with Jesus everyday. 

Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Jesus did not live like he was super human, even though he was.  Jesus made time for the most important things.  He often walked by people who needed healed.  He chose not to leave Israel, though his heart was for the whole world.  We see him sleep, take time to eat, get away from the crowds, and pray.  He chose only few close friends.  You would think for the Messiah who has come to save the world and only take 3 1/2 years to show the world who He is, he would not have time for things like getting alone, only choosing 12 men to pour His heart in, allow Judas to be one of the 12.  

Jesus set the example for us to not live like we are super human.  The Sabbath (one day off per week) was not a suggestion but a command.  What good things do you need to say no so you can say yes to great things?  What values do you need to make a priority and let other balls drop?  Do it today!

  1. Write a list of your values. 
  2. Number them in order of their importance.  
  3. Write down how much time you want to give to them. 
  4. Schedule time this week to make it happen.

Say no to some good things so you can say Yes to great things!

Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

How to Keep Your Heart Alive… Part 3

There are things in our lives that shape us. They shape how we think, how we act and how we believe. They are the 5 people we spend the most time with, the magazines or news we regularly read, and the places we trust what they say.  For me I want that to be the Word of God.  I aspire to start everyday in the Word.  I want it to shape my thinking, my world view, and what I build my life on.  

Many people build their lives based on what makes the most sense to them.  If they can reason with it they will believe it. If someone can convince them, they will trust it.  This is why who you spend the most time with matters the most.  So what do you build you life on? The opinions of those you work with?  Your parents?  The Word of God?

King David said, I have hidden your Word in my heart.  Your Word is a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet.  We all would like to live a life like David.  The new testament says he fulfilled the purpose in his generation.  How?  He build His life on the Word of God.  He trusted it even when his circumstances seemed to contradict it. He obeyed it even when it wasn’t popular.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about Word.  Here is the key: It is not about getting in the Word… It is about getting the Word in you.  You could spend an hour in the Word everyday, and if you do not let it transform you then you have missed it.  If you do it out of religious duty because it is what “good christians” do, then you have missed it.  If you read it like a treasure hunt knowing there is a verse in there to chew on for the rest of the day, then over time it will transform what you think, then what you believe, and how you build your life.

So here a couple options:  
1. Get a Bible that is easy to read.  I suggest the NLT.
2. Download the YouVersion Bible App.  It is free and can set you up on a free Bible reading plan
3. Get a one year Bible.  You can read through the whole Bible in one year, with only 15 min a day.

The Word of God will stir your soul, shape your mind, and lead your emotions.  It has the power to change every area of your life from your relationship with God to your finances.  It can be trusted!

So today, get God’s Word in you! Keep your heart alive! 

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

How to Keep Your Heart Alive… Part 2

A couple years ago, I went to a conference.  I go to a couple every year and they are good.  But this one changed things.   Pastor Robert Morris shared how beginning your Jesus time in worship is key.  Doing this the last couple years has changed my intimacy with the Lord in such a rich way.

Psalm 100:Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
    Worship the Lord with gladness.
    Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
    He made us, and we are his.[a]
    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
    go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
    His unfailing love continues forever,
    and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about worship.  There are many forms of worship that are valuable.  You can love your family in a way that is worship.  You can work in a way that is worship.  You can sing, kneel, or dance as worship.

Worship means to give worth or value.  Corporate worship is the gathering of believers to collectively declare value and worth to Jesus.  Personal worship is where your heart gets filled and your perspective shifts. 

When we focus on our present struggles our problems look really big.  When we focus on the greatness of God our problems start to look smaller.  Worship here is putting your trust in God who can change your situation or just change your heart toward your situation.  

So here is my rhythm:  
1. 2-3 songs of praise and worship
2. Read the passage from the one year Bible
3. Prayer (1/2 of my time praying through my list, 1/2 listening and praying in the Spirt)

Worship is the fuel for your passion for the Lord and the place your perspective changes.  If you want your faith to be alive… Worship! Seek His Presence!  Seek His Will!  Seek First His Kingdom!

So today, worship! Keep your heart alive! 

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive… part 1

Have you ever fasted?  Day one you are hungry. Day 2 you have headaches and are getting really hungry. Day 3 you would eat anything.  Day 4 hunger is way less.  Day 5-7 energy is low but you are not hungry.  Day 8-whatever… I have no idea what that feels like.  Could you imagine fasting 6 days a week and only eating one meal on the 7th every week?  Sounds terrible and a recipe for death.  

Many Christians eat only one spiritual meal a week and fast the rest of week. Then their pastor does a couple evangelistic series, and they complain about not being fed.  Then many get stuck in a form of religion (going through motions without any transformation happening in them) or just walk away thinking it didn’t work.

All of us have experienced some part of the above!  I know with 4 kids, 2 jobs, and preparing to plant a church, there is so much that pulls on me that will not keep my heart alive.  So how do you keep your heart alive?

3 Keys to Keep Your Heart Alive

  1. Prayer
  2. Worship
  3. Word

Today I am going to write about prayer.  There are many forms of prayer that are valuable. Talking to God and talking with God are very different. Both are valuable but waiting for God to speak is the single most important way to keep your heart alive.  This is my opinion… Jesus gave us the Lord’s prayer, but I do not think he gave it to us so we could pray it word for word but to teach us how to pray.

Mark 6:9 Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.

Start by focusing on who God is and telling Him how he alone is worthy of worship and praise.  Relate to Him as a good Father who loves you as a son. Sons are sons by birth not worth.  Some of you need to read that again. Sons are sons by birth not worth. Approach Him boldly as a dad who deeply loves you and has great plans for you.


10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.

Pray that Dad’s will would be done and that you would lay your will before His.  Ask Him to open your eyes to see a bigger picture than the one you see on your own.  Pray the Kingdom of Heaven would be in your home, your church, your work, your world.  This is about aligning your values and vision based on what Dad sees and not just what you see.


11 Give us today the food we need,

Remember who is your provider!  You can plant seed but cant make it rain. All the farmers know something about that this year. You can’t make things grow.  You can apply wisdom, great strategy, and great stewardship but if you add Dad’s blessing to that the results can equal whatever God wants.  We do not worry about tomorrow because God is faithful and His principles true. 

12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

Now confess to your great Dad your failure, your sin, and your shame. He will remove it as far as the east is from the west. 


13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

Remember you have a real enemy.  It is not a boss, a spouse, or a person, but an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy you.  Ask Dad to give you His grace to overcome.  On your own you do not stand a chance to the enemy, but when God surrounds you, we walk in victory and freedom.

So today, pray! Keep your heart alive! Don’t eat one meal a week!

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

Prayer of Jabez

I am not very religious and do not like prayer on repeat, but I have learned that praying scripture is powerful and can be done in a way that is not at all religious.  Today I want to share one of my favorite scriptures to pray.  It is the prayer of Jabez.  This is in the middle of a geneology.  You know the scripture we usually just skip or breeze through.  In the middle of the list of first borns comes this…

1 Chronicles 4:There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful.10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.

 

  1. Pray of Blessing

Here I ask God to give me favor.  I need favor with men, in my finances, and as I do what God has called me to.  I ask God to bless my finances as I want to honor Him how I spend the resources He gave me.  I also ask for wisdom beyond my years.  I am a young man but do not want to walk in the wisdom of a young man.  So I pray this, “Give me more than I need that I might be a blessing to others.”  God knows how much I need, I want my heart to align with His why which is to be a blessing to others.

2. Pray for Influence

Here I ask God to expand my territory.  I pray, “Fill my heart with vision and purpose from you.”  I do not want vision and purpose of my own ambition or from the values of the world.  When you meet a man who has found purpose birthed in conviction from God’s presence, he is different than other men.  He sees life different. His wife looks at him different. He has a drive that is not tainted with pride but making a difference in the lives of others.

3. Pray for His Presence

Deuteronomy 31:Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”  The reason we do not walk in fear or discouraged is because he goes before us.  He is already where He wants us to be.  He is also with us.  He is not only the God of our future but the God who is in our present.  He knows you and sees you.  He knows your heart is bent toward fear and discouragement, which is why over 365 times in the Bible you will read “Do not be afraid.” It is not because the circumstances were not worthy of fear, but because the God that was with them is greater than their circumstances. So I pray, “What you have called me to is bigger than me.  God would you lead me to where your hand is leading me.”  I want to go to the future that he designed.

4. Pray for Protection

I have an enemy that does not want my to know God and fulfill my purpose.  In fact he wants to steal my purpose and kill my knowing God intimately.  It is what he fears the most.  So I pray, “Strengthen me and protect me from the attack of the enemy.”

So I encourage you to pray this prayer everyday!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
@brandonsereg

 

Vital Mission

Be part of the Vital Mission and commit to a regular monthly donation to help with the costs involved with supporting our Vital Men events and outreach in our communities.

Click the donate button below to setup your recurring monthly donation.

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike on kBOE 104.9FM

LISTEN NOW



Listen Anytime On:

Spotify Channel

iTunes Podcast