Author Archives: Brandon

Grateful

I recently met with a friend who was really frustrated with their place of work.  They shared how discouraged they were in the expectations put on them and how the overall culture is overworked and those that work the longest are the most celebrated. Seeing the negative impact on himself and several that had decided not to work there, he decided he wasn’t sure he wanted to work there.

This Sunday, at his church they preached on writing a list of things they are grateful for. He was led by the Lord to write things about his work.  It was not hard for him to make the list.  He read the list outloud and it softened his heart toward his work.  He went from ready to consider quitting to grateful for his opportunity.

I think all of us can relate with his frustration.  It might not be a job, but a person or a group of people.  So I want you to do something.  I want you to write down one person or thing in your life that really frustrates you. Really stop reading and write it down. 

I know I can struggle here.  I remember asking God to work at a certain place and then about 6 month later I am complaining to God about working there.  I ask God for a child and when they are screaming I question why I prayed that.  I am grateful for a vehicle and the moment I have an issue, I complain.  What if I just stayed grateful and chose to look at the blessing and not the challenges.  What I focus is on is up to me and I want to live a grateful life.  Not to mention we like spending time with grateful people. 

What do you complain about today that is actually a blessing from God?  Where do you need to change your focus. 

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

Next I want you to write down 7 things about that person or thing that you are thankful for about them or it. Don’t say, “I have nothing.”  There is something.  Take the time to let it be deeply personal.  Now read it outloud.  Read it again before you see that person or go to that job and notice how different your attitude is.  

Why?  It is hard to keep a grateful spirit down.  Grateful people are noticed for their genuine smile. They are noticed in how they treat people different.  They are noticed for how the see more than normal people do.  If you were a boss interviewing two equally qualified people, one was grateful and had a smile, the other just didn’t. Who would you hire?  The grateful one… Why we like being around grateful people is because they are fun and light up a room.  They emanate hope. 

So today choose to be grateful. Choose to emanate hope!

Helping people live a better story

Brandon Sereg

The Pace of Grace pt 2

Joshua was born a slave. He was taught to believe he was property.  It was all his family had known for 400 years.  Then one day a man who grew up in the royalty of Egypt named Moses demands this nation of slaves be set free.  Pharaoh of course refuses.  Then Joshua witnesses God do 10 plagues and set them free. Can you image the first day free?  Then God divides the Red Sea as they walk across on dry land. The Egyptian army follows behind only to have God crush them with the sea.  Then they are led by fire by night and cloud by day where to go.  3,000,000 people wake up each day to food on the ground for them to eat.  God gives this group of people who do not have military training victory in battle miraculously.  Joshua knows God is awesome!

Can you imagine?  Then Moses sends 12 spies including Joshua. 10 spies get intimidated by the giants and the walls they find and convince the rest of Israel not to trust God to give them victory.

I think this happens to all of us.  We know God is able and there are promises He has put in us.  We go and inspect the place He promised and sure enough there are walls and giants that stand in our way. 

Moses dies and Joshua is the new leader to take them into the promised land.  He is grieving the loss of His spiritual dad and now the weight of leadership sits on his shoulders.  He crosses into enemy territory and guess what he finds… A WALL.  

If you are Joshua, you want to make a first impression. Surely a catapult, battering ram, or a trojan horse would do the trick.  

Joshua 6:You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can.

God’s plan is to walk and worship.  Does not sounds like a battle plan that builds the glory of man or leader.  I think that is the point.  God want His name to receive the glory.  He wants you to experience victory but simply because He gives good gifts to His kids.  

Before each one of us stands a wall or a giant.  We have spent time trying to strategically bring down the wall or slay the giant.  The battle, it’s victory, and all the glory belong to God.  God will let us wear ourselves out trying to bring down the walls.  God’s has a plan where we rely on the PACE OF GRACE.  We can stride with Him because He does the heavy lifting.  Grace is God’s enablement to do what you cant alone.  The pace is not in a hurry or on our timeline.  Rest easy knowing God is a God who does the supernatural and He wants to reveal His glory and grace through you!

Today, ask God to bring down your wall and stride with him while your soul is at peace.

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

 

Pace of Grace Part 1

I don’t know about you but I am always in a hurry.  When I go to the grocery store, I only get what I need and nothing more, when I get what I need I size up the isles and the cashiers to pick the fastest route.  If I only have a few items then I go to the 12 items or less isle.  Without fail that line will have a guy with 40 items right in front of me.  I wont say anything but if he looks back I will give him a look that will explain everything in me that I wish I could say. 

All of us are waiting for something and hoping that it comes.  I am waiting for $400,00o to come in for my church plant.  You might be waiting for a person to marry, your marriage to be healed, God to give you a child, a job, a better job, or healing. If you are anything like me, you want it now

One of my pastors, told me that “God is never in a hurry.”  I think all of us know that even wish it wasn’t true.

Mark 5:21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. 22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, 23 pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”

24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. 

If you are a dad of a little girl who is dying, you are desperately wanting Jesus to walk a pace that is a little quicker than one a crowd can keep pace.  If you have ever been in the midst of a crowd, you do not move quickly.  If I was Jairus, I would be loosing my mind trying not to offend Jesus yet trying to get Him at least a light jog.  Jairus is left waiting.

Then he receives word, the pace was not enough.  A messenger comes and tell him his daughter is dead.  Grief starts setting in and Jesus says do not be afraid.  Jairus has to think Jesus doesn’t seem to care.  That is how some of you might feel right now…. Jesus doesn’t care enough about what you face to do anything.

Mark 5:40 he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying.41 Holding her hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means “Little girl, get up!” 42 And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed.

Jairus thought Jesus would heal his little girl, but Jesus wanted to do something greater in raising her from the dead. I want to encourage you, God knows what you are waiting for.  He is active. The outcome might not be what you expect.  The timing won’t be in a hurry, but at the right time He will do what only He can do. Today rest that He is good and faithful!

Helping people live a BETTER story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

 

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? 

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

I love the “C”hurch!

In late Sept of this year, I went to visit a church plant (Sozo Church) in San Francisco.  It was incredible!  The church is about one year old.  Before they gathered at 6 am to transform a middle school into a gathering of the church, they prayed.  When I say they prayed, I don’t mean they said religious words before a church activity because they should.  They asked God to move powerfully in their service.  Many were in tears as they mentioned people by name who needed freedom from addiction or healing from wounds.  They wanted the Holy Spirit to fall not so they had an emotional response but that His Glory would change their city.

I walked the streets for hours and met people.  Some were homeless and some were wealthy.  What they had in common was they were so lost. This city is not just unchurched but it is also anti church. They are about to take the church branding off their trailers to make it safer to store them.  They pay “private” security to guard the trailers at night.  They get hate mail, they get protested, they get blackballed for renting spaces.  Why?  They are a church. 

In their city, if you are a family of 4 and make less that $114,000 a year, you are considered poverty level.  My friend (the church planter) pays $6,000 month for rent for 1,600 sq ft house that will built 80 years ago. Everything costs more!

You might be asking why I say this… 

Matthew 16:15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 

Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus started the “C”hurch.  It was His idea. It is not a building! It is not a religion!  It is a gathering of believers who are called to preach the good news which is Jesus is messiah.  Jesus died not to make bad people good people but dead people alive people.  I love the “C”hurch because this is our calling! This is our message that transforms lives and families!  This is why people move to anti church expensive cities!  This is why we give to local churches.  Our King, our Savior, our Friend entrusted us with the greatest story ever told! 

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
thevibrant.church

 

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