Author Archives: Brandon

The Biggest Looser

I love the show the biggest looser. I love the peoples stories.  I especially love week 1 where they loose a ton of weight.  That first week their workouts are sloppy, people are crying, throwing up, and wanting to quit.  They have to choose what they want more… Do they want to live a long life, be active with their families, and loose the weight… knowing they will have to embrace pain, vomit, and change.  Or they can choose to be obese, spend their lives sitting, and die at an early age… not have to hurt by exercise, eat whatever they want, and not change.  They have a choice, it seems easy on the surface, but to do the biggest looser they will have to overcome years of bad habits.

I see people all the time that are not spiritually fit.  People who wander why their faith has grown cold and they haven’t prayed in months.  Marriages who are facing divorce but never asked someone for help.  Parents who’s kids hate church, but taught them church was a priority as long as it didn’t interrupt football, baseball, the lake, weekend at home, grandma’s house, or anything else that came up this week.  Then you meet people that spend time getting the Word in them everyday, they have a vibrant prayer life, they serve people everywhere they go, they walk in humility by inviting wiser people into their lives before there is a problem.  They have a joy all over them though they may face the same circumstances of those listed before.  What is the difference?

photo-1453844598634-41bfc63e7b231 Corinthians 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 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. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

Where do you need to walk in discipline?  Are you spending time with Jesus everyday?  Are you in the Word? Are you serving others?  Do you have community in your life to lead you?  How much of your prayer time is talking vs. listening?

God is for you and has called us to live focused lives so we can enjoy the results of disciple.  Now hear me.  If you do a disciplined life, God will not love you more.  If you do not He will not love you less.  You are not earning anything here.  You are getting to know the character, confidence, strength, humility, power, refreshing, and love of a Father who wants to put His nature in you.  It is an invitation into a full life of His goodness.

So what do you need to do today to walk in disciple? Plan it, wake up early, go to be late, you are not shadow boxing my friend!  Jesus has great things for you today!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

20 Year Wait

I am one of those people who want everything yesterday.  I do not like to wait.  I want it now!!!! I remember as a kid my parents telling me we are going on a vacation in a month.  I had no concept of time, so I would go ahead and pack my bag.  I was ready to go.  By the time the vacation came I had stopped believing we were going on vacation at all. 

4j4Dd6HzTguq2QYQc8bY_DSC_2348I am reading 2 Samuel in my Jesus time.  I had forgotten about David being anointed king on two different occasions, one time by Samuel as a kid and another time when he took the role as king.  In between these two moments had to have been 20 years.  In between, David killed a bear and a lion, killed Goliath, been a worship leader for Saul, been an armor bearer for king Saul, led a portion of the army in victory, almost murdered on multiple occasions by Saul, chased around the country like a criminal, later hears of his best friends death, and takes 300 criminals and outcasts and make them his mighty men.  David did not lack in opportunity to take the role of king in his own strength, but he would not take it apart from God’s timing.  David submitted his dreams to the Lord’s timing. Even when Saul was dead, after treating David so poorly he:

2 Samuel 1:17 Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, 18 and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah.

The Lord led David to some really high moments and some really challenging ones.  David learned to take all he was feeling to the Lord.  He wrestled with God with some hard questions (he asked God if he had abandoned him), extreme emotions (he often asked God to break his enemies teeth), with his sin, and with his praise.  David was vulnerable and real before the Lord and the Lord used it to build a foundation a king could be built on.  The person Jesus wants to build in you needs to be built here, not on the opinions and wayward thoughts of others. 

I think sometimes we would rather gossip and slander other people because of “how we see it”, rather than take it before the Lord and let him shape our perspective and how we handle it.  David showed honor to his authority, kindness to his people, controlled fire before his enemies, and humility before the Lord.  What would your life look like in 3 years if you went to the Lord with all your feeling, emotions, behaviors, and habits?  What if your vulnerability and humility before Jesus shaped your relationships and behaviors?  Do it now! Write it out how you feel, how you want to react, and let the Holy Spirit direct your steps.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Weird Relationships

This week I met with my Life Group.  It is a group of guys who love Jesus, love the church, and love me.  We talked about issues men deal with, what we are learning in the scripture, the challenges we are facing, and the dreams God has put in our hearts.  We ask hard questions of God’s ways, we pray over each other, and encourage each other to keep the faith.  I am so grateful for these men of God!

eae0a1daHebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

The veil is torn and access to relationship with Jesus has been purchased by Jesus, so let us not swerve from the HOPE we have.  When this was written there was a nation in moral decline, the foundations of the nation were crumbling, and leaders were walking in compromise.  Sound familiar?  It is easy to loose hope.  That is why we need each other!  We can’t do life alone.  

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Spur each other does not sound fun or feel good, yet we need it to keep the hope.  Do not give up meeting together. Again we can not do this alone.   Then it says to encourage each other as we see the Day approaching.  The Day is referring to the return of Jesus.  This is a reminder that this life is not the end and we have a lot of reason for hope!

So who do you need to be in a Life Group with.  If you ever loose Hope, need a spur, or need encouragement, Jesus designed us to find it in each other through Him. So find a group, make room in your busy schedule, and find hope, a spur, and encouragement.  What if you could do the same for them?

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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

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