Author Archives: Brandon

Have you ever seen one of those art pieces where when you look at it one way it is an old woman and if you look at the same picture another way it is a young woman? If you have seen both images in the painting, you will always see the one you are looking for.  If you want to see the old woman you will see it, if you want to see the young woman you will see it.

Right now in one of the new ministries I oversee, we are short leaders.  Like really short!  It is really easy for think “I have a huge problem!  Why are so short?” I could get mad at someone who didn’t raise them up.  I could blame the culture.  As long as I am getting mad, blaming the culture, or pointing a finger, I have a problem.  A problem is bad…

Now lets flip it… 

Right now in one of the new ministries I oversee, I get to raise up a new level of leadership from the ground up!  I get to train other people how to develop leaders.   I get to redefine a new culture that will have lasting impact on the people we serve.  I have an opportunity. An opportunity is great…

Notice the circumstances of my challenge have not changed, but my attitude toward them is a choice.  Which perspective has the greatest chance of failure and which has the greatest chance of success?  Not hard to see!

When God created the human race to reflect His nature and they rebel and choose sin instead, God had a choice.  None of us would blame God if he just started over.  He could choose to see this creation as a problem or an opportunity to show the depth of His nature.  Aren’t we all grateful for His perspective.

John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Where is your challenge?  How is your attitude?  Do you have a problem or an opportunity?  Normal people choose a bad attitude, and normal people stay stuck in their problems.  Yet none of us want to be normal, but as long as we blame our boss, our spouse, our friend, our lack of money, success or any number of different thing… We will stay stuck in our problems, and we will be normal.

If we choose however to see our challenges as opportunities for God to do something great and deep with in us and His great nature shown through us.  Maybe God is not to setting us up for failure but setting us up for a testimony of breakthrough.  Many people want a great testimony but few want to be tested.

So choose today… choose NOW… problem or opportunity?  Can it be that simple? YES!!!!! I am not saying it is easy, but when you act on your opportunity and choose the right Perspective… you WILL experience His grace and power in your life!

Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

What REALLY matters?

My grandfather was just placed in hospice this week, after 12 years of fighting cancer, open heart surgery, and diabetes he does not have much time left.  To say it has been hard would be a huge understatement.  He is going to leave behind a wife of 58 years, three kids, eight grandkids, and seven great grandkids to date.  He loves Jesus and served Jesus, the Church, and people well.  He was not a perfect man and didn’t always get it right.  He did not have new cars, fancy toys, or a large retirement.  Depending on what you value, some may say he had it all and others very little.  He went to most of my games as a kids, taught me to hunt and fish, and taught me to work on cars.  I think he had what matters most. 

I asked him after 80 years of life, what really matters.  He said that is easy.  

1. Jesus
2. Marriage
3. Family

He told me if I am successful in those areas, that is what matters most.  Family for him is a lot more people than blood relations. I was overwhelmed at the number of people who came to visit that told me he is family.  

At one point, Jesus was asked about priorities and what really matters.

Matthew 22:35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’e 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Verse 40 sticks out to me.  Jewish laws and customs had over 600 regulations that children spent years learning and old men spent years debating. Jesus wraps up the entire point of the Old Testament in three sentences.  Can you imagine the response?

So I have a question for you: What do you really value?  Not what do you say you value… what does your time, talent, and treasure say you value?  It is what your words say?  If you say you value your church but do not give and serve, your time, talent and treasure trump your words.  If you say you value family, but spend all your free time in front of a TV, hunting, and side projects, your time, talent, and treasure say different.  I am not trying to make anyone feel shame, but I want to challenge you to make your time, talent, and treasure line up with what you say you value.

If you are unsure, ask the people who know you best what you really value and just listen don’t defend. Create a plan for your time, talent, and treasure to match your values.  Value the right things!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Where am I going?

I use Siri on my iphone all the time.  I will hold the home button and say, “Siri directions home.” Siri will then tell me turn by turn where to go.  I know before GPS people used maps to get places and I do not remember a world like.  When my GPS is not working I get lost and sometimes will not attempt to go at all.  The idea and getting in a vehicle and just going a long distance without a plan, sounds horrible to me.  Like if you hoping to drive to San Francisco and drive towards New York, despite your best intentions you will never get there.

I meet with people all the time and when you ask where they are going they often cannot give an answer, or they give an answer but their actions communicate they are heading somewhere else.  Where are you going? Do your actions and choices line up with where you want to go?  Have you sat down and prayed about the steps to get there? How often do we make plans without God’s wisdom?

 

Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

This Proverb assumes we know where we are going and have plans to get there.  So I guess first we have to answer what is the vision for our lives?  What do we hope to look back in 10, 20, 50 years from now and hope we did?  Did our lives help others or just us? Is the world better because we were here?  Is God even in it?  Like for real, did God lay out an assignment for you to live?  Know God has a plan for you and that plan is to make a difference in the lives of others!

If you were to write your obituary (article for the paper after a person dies) what do you hope other people would write? Then comes the plan, if you keep doing what you are currently doing would that be what people would write, or would it be a very different story? Living a life that makes a difference is not comfortable, safe, and certainly not easy.  But when you were a kid, did you dream about comfortable, safe and easy.  Now that you are grown do you think God wants to make you civilized? The God of the Bible, the Jesus of Nazareth, and those that followed where rarely comfortable, safe, or living it easy.  Make a plan of risk, adventure, and faith.

I have a dream in my heart, and when I reach 70 I do not want to look back and wonder… If I had done _______ what could God have done?  I want to look back and say I dreamed, planned, and followed Jesus on the most incredible adventure. I think you do too.  I think it is wired deep in each of us… WHERE AM I GOING?

So do you know where you are going?  Are your plans really going to get you there? Have you sought the Lord for him to direct your steps?

Get a God sized dream!  Get a Holy Spirit led plan! Live a life of risk, adventure, and faith!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

I am not going to be father of the year…

My daughter, Eliana, is 9 months old and is climbing up on EVERYTHING. There is a small step stool my older daughter, Eden, uses.  Eliana will climb it and reach for cabinet knobs.  I knew watching her, this could and probably will end in tears.  Then I got caught in conversation.  About a minute later, my ears are throbbing and it sounds like an ambulances decided to loose it’s mind in my kitchen.  How something that small can make a sound that BIG is a small miracle.  I know I will not be getting the father or the year award, because she has done it before didn’t learn and I know she will do it again. 

Proverbs 22:3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

Both the prudent and the simpleton foresee danger, it is what they do with it, that determines the outcome.  I foresaw Eliana hurting herself and could have easily taken precaution, but I got distracted and went on blindly and suffered the consequences and so did my daughter.  I think in all of our lives we do things knowing they could end very badly and probably should end badly.  We through caution to the wind and go on blindly and then blame God for the consequences we face.

I believe there are a number of reasons why we do not take precaution.  One is we do not take time to stop, process what we are about to do and foresee the potential outcomes.  Our culture trains us to pursue happiness and what we want now.  The culture of the Kingdom will sacrifice what we want now for what we want most.  Take Eliana… What I want most is for my daughter to feel safe and protected in my home.  What I wanted in the moment was to stay engaged in the conversation.  I made a poor decision.  How many stories do all of us have where we chose something in the moment that violated a greater value we wanted most.  I could write a book.  So what decision are you facing today between what you want now and what you want most?  Stop, process the outcomes, and decide…

I think how we continue to make those decisions will dictate our options in the future.  If you invest wisely starting in your 20’s, you won’t be dependant on a bankrupt government for social insecurity.  If you love and pray over your spouse or future spouse you will have a greater chance of staying married.  If you choose wise friends, you will like the quality of life you experience later.  So I ask it one last time…

What decision am I facing now? What do I want now? What do I want most? 

Stop, process the outcomes, and decide knowing the prudent foresee danger and make precautions, and the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

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.

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.

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?

Beware of comparison

I have been married to my wife for 11 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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