Author Archives: Brandon

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

 

Little By Little

You will one day be or may already be old enough to look into your past and wander what if?  You didn’t start out as a kid dreaming about playing it safe, thinking small, or even dreaming small. Overtime due to disappointment, distraction, or any number of things you lower your expectations. 

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a first step. However a first step in the wrong direction can actually get us further from our goal. Many of us are farther from our goals than when we began because whether intentionally or unintentionally, we went the wrong way. 

Then you bring God into the equation… He has a “promised land” for you.  It is to bless you in abundance!  Did you know when Joshua was sent into the promised land promised to Abraham and Moses, He said: 

29I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.  Exodus 23:29-30

God was not going to give it to them all at once because if He did it would crush them. Because God is good and sees the long road he gave it to them little by little. The walls of Jericho came down, but over 7 years and many battles, where they had to fight like crazy, they took the majority of the land. Little by little…

Why does God give us grace or just today?  Why is His sufficiency enough just for today?  Why did Jesus teach us to pray, “give us today our daily bread?”  Why did God give the Israelites the promised land little by little?  If He gave us all we need today we wouldn’t realize our need for Him tomorrow. Power, strength, and bread are perishable.  What if the promised land was always about enjoying the blessing of God, with God, receiving it by the dependance on God?

So then how do we do it?

  1. Choose Carefully

Not all goals are created equally.  Certain goals like flossing, making the bed, exercise, recording what you spend or eat, and tithing are all habits that cascade into other areas of your life. If you make your bed you are less likely to spend money you don’t have on a credit card.  If you tithe you are more likely to care for the things God cares for.

2. Spell It Out Specifically

Make a concrete plan. Paint with bright lines!  Don’t say you will eat better, say you will record what you eat and only a certain number of calories.  Don’t say you won’t text and drive, say you won’t touch your phone while your vehicle is in drive. 

3. Track It Diligently

If you aren’t keeping score, you are just practicing

“Bowling through a curtain might be fun in the beginning but if you can’t see the pins fall it will soon become boring even if you really love bowling.” 4 Disciplines of Effective People- Sean Covey

When you see someone you know watching a game- Whats the score?

Recording your progress is vital to accomplishing your goal

4. Guard it aggressively

Days linked together without interruption toward a goal- aka a streak

Victory is a Small Thing Continually Repeated

Little by little eventually becomes a lot!

“Courage, my heart! Go on little by little, for many littles will make a great whole.” Charles Spurgeon

Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Why we don’t “Keep the Change”

Have you tried to make a change in 2020?  Many of us have and I am sure many of us have already fallen short.  Studies show 92% of New Years resolution fail before Valentines Day.  So often we don’t do what we want and do what we don’t.. So lies our ever present struggle.  Romans says it like this:

15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate18 I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:15, 18-19, 24-25 NLT

 

 

3 Reasons Why we don’t succeed:

1.We focus on the what but don’t understand the how.

Many people will try to loose 20 lbs and then go back to the lifestyle that got them to where they needed to loose 20 lbs.  Many will will pay off a credit card only to go back to spending more than they make causing the debt to come back.

Goals don’t determine success.
Systems determine success.

“You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.” James Clear

2. We don’t see progress fast enough.

We want results in a month that took years to create and years to correct. No one gains 20 lbs in a day or racks up $20k on a credit card.  It is the daily choices that compound over time. 

Our life is the sum total of all the small decisions that we make! Successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally. It’s the things that no one sees that bring results everyone wants.

It is the failing and getting back up, praying, enduring criticism, early mornings, late nights, grind, persistence, and private price built up overtime that is being stored up creating the results you are looking for!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

3. Our distorted identity sabotages our success.

We do something bad and the enemy tells us that we are bad. You didn’t do it right the first time and you think you are bad.   Most people start with DO GOALS.  The best way to start is not DO GOALS but WHO GOALS. Who do you want to become in 5 Years?

Identity Shapes Actions.

When you know WHO you want to be you will know better what to DO. So start this year writing down WHO you want to be. Then work backwards and discuss what you need to DO to become the WHO you want to be. 

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Light in the Darkness

Christmas is full of emotions for everyone.  There is mistletoe and eggnog.  There can be new people at the Christmas table that come in small packages. There are gifts and lots of food. At the same time this day can be full of lots of different emotions.  There are people who used to be at the table that are not there anymore. There might not be anyone at the table. Some people at your table might like Trump while others don’t. Some want to save whales and some want to kill whales.  Some you just hope don’t sit next to each other at the table. Lets be honest, Christmas stopped being the happiest time of the year when our eyes were opened to the reality of this world isn’t puppy dogs and roses. 

When Jesus was born, angels, shepherds, and kings came to worship him.  Over 300 prophecies where fulfilled and satan had his head crushed. In the midst of this glorious moment, a sub plot that was incredibly dark was playing in the backdrop. Jesus was born as an infant to a middle class family in what appeared to be a scandal.  Who believed the pregnant engaged couple was actually a virgin birth? He was born in a barn while a lunatic king made every effort for his death.  Roman soldiers killed every male child under the age of two.  Every family was effected and grieving. Jesus was a constant reminder of the one male child that was not murdered. 

Christmas is not a reminder that the world is a really nice old place, it is a place where wickedness flourishes unchecked, where children are murdered, where civilized countries make a lot of money by selling weapons to uncivilized ones so they can blow each other apart. Christmas is God lighting a candle; and you don’t light a candle in a room that’s already full of sunlight. You light a candle in a room that’s so murky that the candle, when lit, reveals just how bad things really are. The light shines shines in the darkness, says St John, and the darkness has not overcome it.”- NT Wright

So maybe your day is full of light or maybe it is full of darkness, either way Jesus came to shine a light in your darkness.  Today is a day to remember, that after the gifts are opened and coffee is brewed, to take time to invite the King, who left his Heavenly throne, to shine a candle to give you hope in the darkness.  Spend some time today thanking God for His light.

Helping People Live a Better Story

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.

  1. 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.

2. 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? 

3. Beware of comparison

I have been married to my wife for 14 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 

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