Author Archives: Brandon

How to Pray?

I was talking with a staff member at my church this last week and they shared how they are active in their Bible and worship, but prayer has been difficult to add. He works for a church and struggles with prayer.  If that is true in him, it is true with many other people.  

One of the things that make it hard is when we hear professional prayers.  We go to church, watch it online, tv, or the radio and we hear people pray these great, eloquent, big word prayers.  These prayers are intimidating.  I have a 4 year Bible degree and have been a pastor for over a decade.  I will hear people pray and they use words I do not understand and at times feel less spiritual.  

In Jesus time, professional prayers would stand a street corners and show how great they were and how they obeyed the law. Here is what Jesus said about that…

Matthew 6:“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 

Then he tells how to pray in a very simple way…

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

So how do you pray?  Here is what Jesus said…

Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,
    may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
    as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
    as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
    but rescue us from the evil one.

It was less about praying these exact words and more then meaning.  Jesus start by reminding us that God is a Father who is Holy.  If we see him as a father it reminds us that we are his kid!  That is a great way to approach prayer as a kid who has a great Dad!!!!  Then He leads us to pray about His kingdom.  This causes us to think less about building our kingdom and joining Kingdom.  This is your mission, your calling, and God’s will for your life! Be about and build His Kingdom. After knowing He is a good Father and we are all about His kingdom, we now can ask with right motive for Him to supply our needs because He cares about our needs, wants to forgive us, and lead us towards freedom. 

  1. Remember who He is and who we are
  2. Be about His Kingdom
  3. Ask Him to meet our needs
  4. Ask forgiveness from a loving Dad
  5. Ask to stay in freedom

This is how Jesus taught us to pray.  This is a great way to start to pray. It doesn’t have to be pretty, full of big words, or even very long.  Think about going to spend time with a Dad who wants to help you know who you really are and wants the best version of life possible.

Go spend time with Dad in prayer!!!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Developed or Discovered

I work with leaders from the age 13-60.  Many of them want positions of authority.  Some have had a lot of leadership experience and some none at all.  The most successful leaders are not the ones that are fighting for position but those who are quick to learn and ask a lot of questions.  They are concerned with being developed.

I am 32 years old this year.  I am reviewing my 20’s and I would do a lot different.  There were times when I tried to prove myself so I would be discovered as a great leader.  Those times were always full of conflict and insecurity.  Then there were times when I was all about being developed, not striving or proving anything.  I recognized my need for growth huge in this time.  I found mentors and leaders who could help me.  I did what they said whether it made sense or not.  I grew a ton! Also, leadership opportunity came my way. 

Jesus was God’s son and Jesus was about 30 when He started his ministry.  Why not 18 after all he is God in flesh.  Joseph was 30 when He was promoted 2nd in command of Egypt, before that he was a slave in Potiphar’s house and a prisoner in a political prison. David was about 30 when He was finally given the role of King of Israel.  All of them had been given a dream years before that. God waited until they were developed before they were given position. 

Can you imaging being Jesus at 25.  You know who you are and the mission you have been called to and you have to wait.  From age 12 – 30 we have one verse.

Luke 2:52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

Weird thought isn’t it. Jesus had to grow in wisdom and favor with God.  Jesus needed developed.  Even at 30 he is saying my time hasn’t come.  Can you imagine Mary?  She has a virgin birth, and I am sure everyone believes the engaged pregnant woman saying she has not had sex.  She wants her son discovered for who He is. 

Joseph has a vision of greatness. He tell his family who you would hope supports his dreams, and he gets sold into slavery by his brothers.  If Joseph is to one day lead an Egyptian amy being in the caption of the guards house, in charge of everything in the house.  Maybe God is up to something.  If farmer boy is going to be 2nd in command of the greatest nation on earth, learning politics in a political prison doesn’t seem that far out.  As a prisoner, Joseph is put in charge of the prison. Slavery and a prisoner would not his first choice, but he was developed into who God wanted him to be. 

You might feel stuck in obscurity and that you have not been discovered yet in the dream that God has for you, but God has a tendency to test his people in the place of obscurity to see if they will be humble and be developed or just whine about their circumstances.  God has GREAT THING planned for you life, but He wants you focused on being developed so He can trust you being discovered.  Who is further in the journey that you need to have mentor you?  What job do you have you need to do your very best in?

Recklessly obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Knowledge vs Wisdom

Have you ever had all the right information to make a decision, then you make the decision, and later find out that though you had all the right information you still made the wrong decision?

A couple years ago, we found ourself with only one vehicle. We knew we needed a second one.  I knew how much cash I had on hand and wanted to use a good chunk of it.  So I called a guy in my church who is in a financial place that I would like to be in when I am his age. I call him and told him what I wanted, how much money I had, and asked his advice.  His recommended budget was way less than mine.  I totally disagreed with what he said.

I spent time thinking about what he said and it exposed my motives. I wanted a nicer car than I could afford.  He was looking further down the road than I was.  So I decided to do what he encouraged me to do.  God then blessed us with a great deal at a price we could afford.  I am so grateful I did not trust in the information alone.  I could have paid cash for a more expensive car and avoided debt.  I had information but lacked wisdom.

King David who killed Goliath had a son named Solomon.  Solomon became King when David was about to die.  Solomon was considered the wisest man who ever lived.  Royalty would travel the world to hear his wisdom.

One time, two young mothers of babies shared a home.  In the middle of the night, one mother rolled on top of her baby and suffocated it.  She wakes up to a dead baby.  So she switches her baby with the other moms baby.  Well the other mom wakes up the next morning to a dead baby and knows it is not hers.  She knows exactly what happened.  So they take this to the authorities who take it to Solomon.

1 Kings 3:22 They argued back and forth in front of Solomon, 23 until finally he said, “Both of you say this live baby is yours. 24 Someone bring me a sword.”

A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, 25 “Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.”

26 “Please don’t kill my son,” the baby’s mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don’t kill him.”

The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”

27 Solomon said, “Don’t kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”

28 Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.

Solomon was able to expose the motives behind the information, and display wisdom for what to do.  Often information can be manipulated to serve us.  What motives are negatively influencing the decision you need to make? Where do you need to get wisdom?  What decisions are you making regarding information and yet not considering wisdom?  Who has the wisdom that could help you?

Seek wisdom! Know true wisdom comes from God and doesn’t change.

Obsessively, recklessly following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

City on a Hill

I was talking to a guy the other day and told me three times in the conversation how great of a leader he was.  I have learned over time that when you a good at something you do not have to remind people that you are good. Michael Jordan did not have to start a basketball game on the microphone and tell the views that he was good.  You gave the man a ball and watched in awe.

For all the Lebron fans out there, mad I did not talk about him… Michael is better and he will show his 6 rings to prove why…

Tiger Woods swings a club and you know he is good.  You do not need to him to tell you how good he is.

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Working in a church puts me around Christians all the time.  Some people believe that because they did not cuss or tell dirty jokes that was showing the world they followed Jesus.  Others think because they mention Jesus on social media and wear christian t-shirts, that the world will know.  Yet Jesus said the world would know we are in Him by the love we have for each other.  

Lost people loved Jesus.  Religious people killed him. Today, lost people think we are full of judgement and act like we are better than people who don’t share our values and religious people love us because of our voting status and behavior.

So would people who don’t follow Jesus, say you follow Jesus? Why? Is it because of the way you love them?  Or is it because of your social media status? Would the way you treat those who make life hard for you say you love them?  Would those who have opposite political beliefs say you love them?  Would people who do not share you values say you love them?

Today, how will you be a city on a hill and a lamp on a stand by the way you show love to the people in your world?  Ask Holy Spirit for 3 opportunities today to show His kind of love and acceptance.

I would love for you to reply back and share how He leads you!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Dirty Theology

Sever months ago, I was invited to go on a trail run with a friend.  He rans with several runners.  I am not much of a runner, so when they took off I gave everything I had to keep up.  It was a dry day, and their trail shoes threw tons of dust.  There were 4 of them and they were all ahead of me.  So 4 peoples worth of dust cloud lingered infront of me. I already couldn’t breath from running, now add their dust to this and I think I am running in hell.  By the time I got home I looked like I had fallen and rolled in the dust. 

The word “disciple” was a common word in Jesus day.  Everyone went to school until they were 10. The smart ones were invited to another 8 years of school where they would memorize our old testament, while the rest went to learn the family business.  Then at the end of the 8 years, they ask a rabbi if they can be their disciple.  The word disciple comes from the greek work Diakonis, which mean to be “caught in the dust.”  They only had dirt roads and if you traveled close enough to someone you would be covered in their dust.  So when an 18 year old would ask to be a rabbi’s disciple. He was asking to follow them so closely that they would always be covered in their dust.  They would talk like their rabbi. Teach like them. Live like them. 

Matthew 9:9 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

Being a disciple of a rabbi was only for the most intelligent and when the rabbi believed you truly could be their disciple.  So when Jesus invites 12 men to be His disciples, everyone was floored.  Rabbis did not ask and the 12 had already been told they were not good enough.  Jesus was making a huge statement!  You are good enough to be my disciple and I choose you.  Then Jesus invited all of us to be His disciple.  

I am here to tell you that Jesus chose you and you are good enough to “be caught in His dust.”  He was able to look at you through the lens of grace and see you as you could be not just as you are. When He looks at you, he does not see your brokenness and sin.  He sees you as He designed you to be and invites you to become that person as you are caught up in His dust.

So I encourage you to follow Jesus, obey Jesus, worship Jesus, and like Jesus so closely that you are caught up in His dust.  May you ever be caught up in the dust of your rabbi!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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