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!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Roots of Value

In high school, I loved my car.  I had a brand new red, 5 speed, 2 door Chevy Cavalier.  I had side graphics going down the side, tinted windows, spoiler designed for street racing, and a  pioneer sound system.  I LOVED THAT CAR!  I also had a car payment. I HATED THAT PAYMENT!

photo-1445001804887-80767051ecb4My freshman year of high school (before I had the car), I met a girl.  She would not give me the time of day.  I move to another state and you would think the story with this girl was over.  Junior year, I ask this girl to prom.  When I say I asked her to prom, I mean I asked if I could fly her to another state to attend a one night event at a small school. Up until this point, I took the trash out more than I could take a girl out. That is saying a lot considering my dad had to threaten, bribe, and threaten me again to get me to take out the trash.   Then the impossible happened.  The girl who never said yes when I lived in her town, just said yes to me in another state.  Within  a year, I LOVED THIS GIRL.  Over the next two years, we became best friends and I asked her to marry me. SHE SAID YES!!!!  All my friends ask, how I was able to marry out of my league.

One week before we get married, the girl I love totals the car I love.  My loves, my values collided.  I was so mad, yet so grateful for this girl. Feeling the tension? 

Philippians 3:8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.

This is the collision that happened when I started following Jesus.  I loved my friends, and I loved Jesus.  I loved parties, and I loved prayer.  These worlds didn’t mix.  I was one person at the party with my friend, yet I was another in prayer with Jesus.  Very quickly, I knew I had to choose.  Can I admit, it was a hard choice and it hurt?  So I chose Jesus.  My friends hated me and there were no more parties.  I would spend hours praying and spending Jesus.  Over time, my heart came alive and a strange thing happened.  I realized that parties, popularity, and the things I used to value didn’t matter anymore. 

I have been following Jesus for 14 years now, and you would think that I would have my values in order.  Every year, I find myself redefining my values.  Where do I find approval, time with family or at work, what is “real” success, or what does it mean to be generous?  I am finding the roots in my values and finding Jesus wants to tear out these bad roots. So many are roots in pride, selfishness, or fear.  Jesus wants to establish roots of love, joy, and faith. 

What do you value?  Friends, games, money, job, GPA, performance… What is the root of that value?  Right now, list 3-5 things you are working for.  Now write down next to each one why you want it? Fear of lack, fear of failure, trying to impress someone, prove yourself?  Now ask Jesus what He wants you to do?

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Knowing God

Growing up I loved going to the skating rink. In elementary school you had to leave at 9 pm.  The high schoolers could stay until 11. I remember wanting to get in so bad. But it was ” access denied.”  I never liked being told what I could not do.

photo-1428591850870-56971c19c3d9Before Jesus, the High priest could go into the presence of God. So one man one time per year could walk into a small room and meet with God. If you are not a Jew or simply not the high priest which is everyone, you never got to experience the presence of God.  Why is that? I’m glad you asked. Sin separated us from God and the Law (standard found in the first five books of the Bible) kept us from ever gaining relationship with God.  So I grew hearing that I could know God, but before Jesus they believed they could know about God. God could be found in a room by one guy once a year. Separating people like you and me from what was in that room is a 65′ veil (really thick curtain). That veil kept me from knowing God and sin kept me from the veil, and to make things worse because of sin that I can’t forgive I am stuck and helpless.

Have you ever felt the access was totally denied.  Right before Jesus died…

Matthew 27:45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Jesus wanted us to have access to the presence of God which has the power to free us from the bondage of sin and not just forgive us from the consequences.  Jesus died so we could know Him and experience the power that would eventually raise Him from the dead.  When Jesus asked why God had abandoned Him, Jesus was experience gap in relationship that we had with the father because of sin. The Father knew He would have to treat Jesus like us, so He could treat us like Jesus.  

So right now, GO to Jesus and ask to experience His presence.  Let Him change you and make you new. Don’t go with fear or shame because of sin.  Jesus paid all that!! Get in His Word, Worship Him, and get to know His presence.  He loves you despite your past.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

UpSide Down Kingdom

I am teaching my kids about money right now.  My daughter Eden asked about why God needs our money.  I told her that God can do more with 90% than we can do with 100% of our money.  My son Levi was not convinced.  His question is why doesn’t he just bless our 100%.   I asked him how much he likes having money.  He said a lot. I said Jesus knows your heart and your wallet are connected.  Jesus wants your heart.  

Throughout scripture Jesus defies social norms and seems to put culture on its head. So often His ways seemed upside down to other nations.  Jesus told them to work only 6 days a week and rest on the 7th.  Also to give a farmers field a year of rest every 7 years. Later, Jesus disciples were arguing over who was the greatest.  His response was so confusing to them:

Luke 22:6 Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

photo-1464500422302-6188776dcbf3Jesus says the greatest is not the one who holds the position of influence, a seat of power, or the greatest pedigree but as a servant.  Other translations substitute servant for slave.  In the roman empire, a slave and servant where of the lowest position.  Jesus said to aspire to be like them.  Wait, Jesus wants me to be a slave. Yes, His slave.  Now Jesus said He came not to be served but to serve.  Jesus is not some terrible slave master but a serving King.  

We have been made right with God by grace through faith in Jesus, we have been given freedom from sin and death.  Now our lives are not our own. We have been purchased.  Greatness in the Kingdom now sits with the slaves in Christ.  

Where are you serving?  Jesus wants you to serve His church with the time, talent, talk, and treasure He has entrusted you with. Where do you need to take a greater role as a servant?  Who do you need to serve at home today?  Who do you need to serve at work?

I believe at the end of our lives we will not celebrate the money, things, or accomplishments we have acquired, but the ways we have been able to give, serve, and people we were able to love. So start today!  Serve someone today.  

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Reckless Courage

At the beginning of every football game, the ball is kicked to the opposing team and 22 players sprint at each other with one goal in mind. Destroy someone!  Some of the men on the field weigh around 300 lbs and can run a 40 in less than 5 seconds. To be one of those players you would have to be totally insane or have reckless courage.  

photo-1445771832954-9c7fb748f214This last week, I have been reading through the book of Acts. I got to the story of Stephen.  He stands trial for preaching Jesus to the Jews.  These men who killed Jesus now have Stephen in their grips. So he does the unthinkable. He tells these religious men that for thousands of years religious leaders like them have killed God’s chosen people.  Then to get even more personal he says:

Acts 7:51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! 52 Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. 53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”

These are religious fighting words. Stephen has just picked a fight.  So they grab him and they take him to be stoned.  This is when they take rocks and throw them at him until he dies.  Just as he is about to die he says”

59 “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Stephen loved Jesus more than he loved his life.  His courage to stand for his faith to those who opposed it stirs my heart.  He did not spend his days wrestling with basics of faith like serving, tithing, and choosing between the lake and church.  He spent his days so other people would know Jesus no matter the cost. 

I want this kind of courage! The courage it takes to know my life is on the line and I boldly spend my life preaching Jesus no matter the consequences.  

So where do you need courage?  Are you asking for courage for things Jesus wants you to have courage for?  Jesus followers always have one thing in common… Reckless courage! I pray we live it.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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