Author Archives: Brandon

Live a Better Story

One of the most frustrating things for me, is someone who has so much potential but lacks the drive or focus to realize it.  At the core of my being I believe we are created in the image of God and in that image we have be designed to live great stories.  I think most people believe that.  Due to that belief we know there is a better story than the one we are currently leaving, what if you really could live a better story?

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord

The promise of knowing God, being loved by God, and living the future he designed for us is a better story than we are currently living.  So think about your story… Do you know God?  Do you know the depths of His love for you?  Are you living the fullness of the future that is planned for you?

Today I want to think about the future of your life… Is your relationships reflecting God’s future? Does your finances reflect God’s blessing and generosity?  Does your time reflect God’s values?  Does your health reflect his wisdom?  Does your time alone with Him reflect His worth?

I don’t ask these questions to make you feel bad, but to challenge you to something more.  If you focused on one thing for the next few months, what would make the biggest difference?

Write it down.  Now what are three things you could do in the next 3 months that would make a difference?  When will you do these things?

GO DO IT! Make a difference and live a better story.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus 

Brandon Sereg

Have Grits

My wife and I have been working on instilling a core value into our kids. Of all our values, this is the hardest one to explain.  The value is “Have Grit.”  My seven year old daughter heard this was a family values she heard… “have grits”  She tells me that she does not like grits but would like our value to be “have pancakes.”  So my family values according to my seven year old would be…

Follow Jesus
Take Courage
Choose Joy
Have Pancakes

I agree pancakes are good but not quite family value level.  So then I started working on how do you explain grit to a child.  I want my kids to grow up to be adults with grit.  I wrote down ideas of how to explain this.  I came up with “Sereg’s don’t quit” or “We like a challenge”  Then it hit me… “we do hard things and we finish them.”

I have been on a one year Bible reading plan, and God has really highlighted the men and women who had grit.  They were put in impossible situation where normal men and women would crumble or quit.  These heros of our faith are not heros or worthy of writing about without these great challenges.  The fact that it was hard and that they finished strong, causes us to tell our children their stories.  David kills the giant. Benaiah chases the lion. Esther challenges the law. Joseph forgives his brothers. Abram leaves everything he knows. Peter preaches Jesus after the crucifixion of Jesus. 

So then I thought, when did they find the courage to do this really hard thing?  Was it the courage in the moment, they found an internal strength they didn’t know they had?  Was it God’s grace that they obeyed to the point of risking their life?  I do think this was a defining moment and I certainly believe apart from grace they would not have done this… However I believe something more.  I think they decided ahead of time that they would hard things and finish them.  They developed grit before these epic moments.  Why did every person in the Bible face tragedy?  Is it because God is cruel and makes this life hard?  Is it the devil?  Or is it a loving father who knows when the struggle, meets His grace, meets “have grit” that the world will marvel by how great God is and that God’s greatness lives in men. 

In my life, marriage is hard, parenting is hard, ministry is hard, and love is hard.  I decided along time ago that I do hard things and I finish them.  It is the struggle that builds strength.  It is the perseverance that builds character.  It is the epic moment in our stories that reveal our grit.  We all want to be victorious and be known as an overcomer, but do we want to finish hard things.

So what is hard in your life?  How are you responding?  Are you trying get out of the hard thing?  Are you blaming someone for the problem?  Or do you “have grit” and finish hard things?  

Do hard things and finish them… Have Grit

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

I’m grateful because…

Today we are going to do something different…

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Instead of spending the next 10 minutes reading a devotional, I challenge you to text 10 people who you are grateful for and to tell them why. It should read like this… “I am thankful for you because… you love people so well, you made me feel special on my birthday, you are alway there for me, or any number of reasons”

 

Ready Go!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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

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