Author Archives: Brandon

3 Ways to Grow

Have you ever seen someone who when they talk about spending time with Jesus, the Word is alive in them, prayer is rich, and the Spirit is strong in them?  I remember meeting these people and wishing my relationship with Jesus looked that way.  Wishing didn’t change anything for me.  Here are three things I have done that have helped me grow in relationship with Jesus:

1 Corinthians 9:26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

Commit to a plan to win

photo-1462690417829-5b41247f6b0e (1).jpegNot all plans help.  If you plan is to obey one verse a day by randomly opening your bible and reading you might find “Judas went out and hung himself” or “Joshua circumsized all the men of Israel.”  Life goes really bad for you this way.  Pick a good time of the day for you to read scripture, pray, and listen to God.  I like my kitchen table, other people like outside.  I like highlighters, pens, and space to spread out.  Also, get a translation that works for you.  I like the NLT.  It is written at an 8th grade reading level and it is easy to understand.  The KJV was written in 1611, and word do not mean the same thing they did then.  

Feel free to change it up.  I have friends who write songs for Jesus.  They sing scripture.  Some go on nature walks, listen to the bible through YouVersion, or use art for engagement.  What I have learned… Have a consistent time, place, and plan.

Get the right coach

Growing up in sports, I recognized really early that I needed someone who could see what I couldn’t see.  Someone with a trained eye.  I ran faster, had better technique, and won games more ofter with a coach.  Not every coach I had was a good one, I learned some bad habits from them.  With the right coach everyone got better.  

I have learned that I cannot do life alone.  I grow the most when I invited a man who is farther down the road than me and has a perspective that I cannot see.  Who is someone that is the same gender as you, that you can invite into your life to confess sin, ask for prayer, get wisdom, and seek guidance? 

Beware of comparison

I have been married to my wife for 11 years, by far the majority of her adult life.  She has some friends that she has been walking with for 2 years, and they do not know here the way I do.  Isn’t that an unfair comparison.  Yet isn’t that what we do with other people.  Compare our relationship with Jesus to theirs.  They may have been following longer or shorter than you and it is not a fair comparison.  Your relationship is unique.  You have been following Jesus for as long as you have, maybe 3 days maybe 3 decades.  You have one focus… Grow.  They way you grow is to spend quality time together.  There are no short cuts…. just our most valuable non replenish able thing… TIME!!!!

So get a plan, get a coach, and don’t compare.  Go be in relationship with Jesus!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg 

The Coach

Have you ever had a great coach? They could push you beyond your limits and lead you to believe you could do more than you currently were.  You would work, fight and bleed for them.  Then you would come back the next day to do it again.  They believed in you and you were better because of them. 

Have you ever had a bad coach?  They would push you beyond your limits and you hated them for it.  They brought the worst in you.  You work, fight and bleed wishing it the coach would die. Then you would cringe to think about going back.  They thought highly of themselves and used you to make them great. 

I think all of us have had these kinds of people in our lives.  They may not be coaches but family, a boss, or even our parents. We have people we look up to because of who they were in our lives.  We aspire to inspire people the way they do.  Their words spoken so long ago still ring in the depths of our soul.  The opposite is true as well.  We have people we think so poorly of.  We want to never be like them or associate with people like them.  However their words tend to ring in our souls as well. 

1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.

Paul is raising up a young man named Timothy.  Paul play a father in Timothy’s life.  Timothy has taken the pastoral leadership role of a Church Paul has planted.  This is a huge role in the early church.  Paul has affirmed Timothy in his true identity in Christ, earlier in the letter.  Now Paul is coaching Timothy in what to do to fulfill the needs of the church and his role in it.  He starts by saying “don’t let people look down on you because you are young.”  Paul sad this because that is what people were saying. Paul says to rise above the people’s accusations by setting the example.  Then he gives practical advice for how to do it.  Speak Identity! Speak Encouragement! Speak Practically what to do!

So we all have people who look to us to set an example.  Your words carry great weight.  My question is what kind of a coach do you play?  Do you make other people better or are people a tool to get to your goal?  The words you speak, do they give life or take it?  How do they ring in people’s soul?  What kind of impact are you making?  Is it what you want?

So who can you encourage today?  What words do you need to say to make a difference?  GO DO IT! SPEAK IT!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Something New…

Last week as I was getting ready to go for a run, I realized that my running shoes were in my wife vehicle.  So I put on a different pair of shoes.  Any runner knows not all shoes are created equal.  I ran less than normal and slower than normal but hurt way more.  I put on the WRONG shoes and I paid for it.

Colossians 3:10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Paul is writing this letter to believers.  He is encouraging them to put on their new nature.  I am not trying to sound like a teacher today… But Paul is saying it is possible to be a believer and not put on your new nature.  Being a believer and not putting on the new nature is like being a runner and putting on the wrong shoes. You get half as far and takes way longer… and wow does it hurt.  So then comes the question what is this new nature?

The next part of the verse encourages us to “learn to know the Creator.”  That is some phrase.  Do you know the Creator?  Not like do you know Donald Trump.  Most of us have never met the president.  Do you know your best friend?  Knowing and knowing about are very different.  Here we are encouraged to know the Creator and out of knowing Him we become like Him.  When we become like Him we are putting on our new nature. 

So what nature do you put on?  Do you put on your old nature that prefers yourself, stays stuck in your sin, and does not reflect the nature of the Creator? Of do you put on that new nature that is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control?

So what are you going to do today?  Do you need to spend time with the Creator, learning to know Him?  Go for a walk. Get in His Word.  Go pray and spend more time listening than talking.  Go talk to someone who knows Him and ask them to help you.  Here is what I am really saying… GO DO SOMETHING! 

Next what do you need to do to put on that new nature? 

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Making a Difference

What did you want to be when you were growing up?  Many of us wanted to be a police man, fireman, or a super hero.  Some of that had to do with feeling powerful, but I believe the biggest reason is we want to make a difference.  We want our lives to be bigger than ourselves.  We look up to great people like Mother Terresa, Martin Luther King,  Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and of course Jesus.  Each of these people made a significant difference in history.  They made our world better.  

With all of these people, the way they made a difference was the were different.  They did not use their time, talent, treasure and influence the same way other people did. They were different. I think the reason many people do not make a significant difference is they are not willing to be different.  Many people spend their time, talent, treasure and influence the same way everyone else does.  They wake up as late as possible, spend as much time in entertainment or the pursuit of stuff as possible, read as little as possible after all you might miss an episode, try to spend some time with family, and if there is room in our overly busy schedules… time with God.  I challenge if that will make a difference.  I wander what it would look like to be different enough to make a difference. 

King David did not begin as a king but as a shepherd and the youngest son.  This is not the making of a king.  The prophet Samuel shows up one day and anoints David as king.  So you would think David would be king soon right? Not so.  The next scene is David being invited to play the harp for king Saul.  Saul likes David and thinks he should be an armor bearer for him. It would be easy for David to be disappointed in his opportunities.  What if David playing the harp and serving as an armor bearer, God was preparing him to lead a country by overhearing king sized conversations?  Then David faces Goliath and we know with a sling and 5 stones David takes down the giant.  What if God planned for David to win over the army was an opportunity for David to save all of them and their families from slavery?  Saul gets jealous of David and tries to kill him, and David runs all over the country away from Saul.  What if God wanted to show David the territory he was going to lead?  

David did not act like all of the other men.  I believe David thought different.  When other men saw a giant, David saw an opportunity.  What giants are you facing trying to pray them away, when God wants you to overcome them by His power?  How does God want you think different?

David prepared different.  We all like game day, but it is the preparation that determines the winner.  God used some really not fun opportunities to train David to be king.  What is in front of you, that if you used it as an opportunity to prepare for something down the road, you would find purpose in it?

To make a difference, you have to be different.  To be different you have to prepare and think different.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

 Brandon Sereg

God is Boring

Growing up, I believed God and my dad were fun suckers.  I thought they were boring.  I am sure you have never felt that way.  You are probably read 5 chapters of the Bible a day since you were born.  Not me.  The people in my church seemed to live boring lives, God wanted me to sing 150 year old songs with words and didn’t understand, and listen to preachers talk about the Bible I didn’t understand. If church is boring then God is boring. 

The rules that made me hate church.  You could play games with one dice but not two, you could not watch R rated movies unless they are about Jesus, all non christian music is bad, sex is bad, sin is bad.  Then I watched some of those movies, listened to a lot of the music, and my friends told me I was missing out when it came to sex.  What I learned might shock you… Sin is FUN!  If you didn’t have fun then you didn’t do it right… Ever hear a pastor say that before? If sin is fun and God is boring, who wouldn’t choose sin?

Then without reading or knowing this verse existed I lived it’s meaning…

Galatians 6:7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. (emphasis mine)

I learned that fun sin had horrible consequences.  I watched my friends who I wanted to be like have their lives spiral right in front of them.  I didn’t want boring and I didn’t want consequences, so now what is left. 

Then a couple years later I experienced this next part of this chapter…

8b But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Since following Jesus I have been on multiple missions trips on four continents, led people to Jesus right in an airport, help addicts get clean, give all my money in faith, give away cars I couldn’t afford to replace, baptize hundreds of people… Following Jesus is the most non boring thing a person can do!  My spirit is alive and doing good is more than just following rules, but walking in faith to see God do what I cannot do on my own.

So what are you living to satisfy? The hunger of your flesh or your spirit? What can you do today to feed your sprit and live the not boring adventure God has for you? But I charge you to not read this and do nothing… DO SOMETHING IN JESUS NAME!!!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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