Skinny Fat

I have been on a quest for a new “healthy” lifestyle.  I want to be healthy.  I want to have energy. I want to look good for my wife.  I met with a trainer and he said the secret is simple… 30/70… I had no idea what that meant.  I thought most of the results for getting healthy would be in my level of exercise.  He told me that 70% of my results will have to do with how I eat.  If I were to work out and not change what and how much I eat. I would see limited results.  If I eat right and do not live an active lifestyle, I can become “skinny fat.”  It is only when I eat the right stuff and live actively will I see the results that I want.

photo-1470338950318-40320a722782I meet people who do the right thing (help people, serve others, be kind, etc.). They are good people in their eyes but they do not spend time with Jesus.  They often find an identity in what they do, instead of whose they are.  They are the missing the best part of doing good, and that is why you do good.  If you do good to feel better about yourself then get busy or think you can always do more, then you get stuck really fast.

Then I meet people who listen to 10 messages a week from churches all over the country.  They make this their time with Jesus and are not doing anything for the kingdom. They are fat.  They eat a lot but because they are not exercising what they heard, they…

James 1:22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

Information (feeding on God’s word) + Application (obeying God’s word)= Transformation

We all want the benefits of transformation. If we apply the wrong things or for the wrong reasons we do not get the transformed life.  If we feed on God’s word and do not obey it we do not live the transformed life.  It is only when we get alone with God, admit we need Him, listen for His voice, quickly obey it, and follow that process over and over again will we get to live in the fullness of the transformed life.

So what are you feeding on?  What do you want to feed on?  When, where, and what are you going to do about it?

What do you need to do?  What act of obedience do you need to walk out? DO IT NOW!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Getting Through Difficulty Correctly

andyOne of my hobbies is doing triathlons. I have typically trained quite intensely for these races, but this year I had a little more laissez faire attitude towards practicing. Not only did I not put enough effort into training, but my nutritional discipline was a little more lax (I’m blaming you Jaarsma Bakery!). So it was that I found myself experiencing the dreaded fringale, a fancy French term meaning hitting the wall and having said wall crush you into oblivion. Fortunately, my brain was still functioning well enough to think through the situation. I stopped for about 30 seconds, sucked down an energy gel, took a few breathes, collected my thoughts, and went on my way. Amazingly, within a few minutes I was back to normal, and actually finished with nearly the same time as the year before. Here’s a few ways I saw this experience paralleling life.

  1. When we’re not prepared, we pay the price. When we choose to live disconnected from God, living according to the world and not the Word, we tend to hit the wall. This is not necessarily because God is punishing us, but a byproduct of choosing to live life incorrectly. Like a triathlon, life is difficult and challenging, and we can’t expect to just wake-up each day and have everything go smoothly. We need to prepare by studying the Word, engaging in prayer, surrounded ourselves with mentors, and constantly following God’s lead.
  2. When things are not going right we have to hit pause. I think many of the biggest mistakes we make occur because we try to quickly fix our problems. We lie to cover up mistakes, use drugs and alcohol to drown out difficulties, and relegate God to the sidelines. Instead of recklessly “soldiering on” we need to hit pause, taking our strength and direction from God. I love how the Message version translates Matthew 11:28-29: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Remember back to my triathlon story. I may have stopped for a minute to recharge, but had I not I probably could not have finished. Sometimes we simply need to stop and be recharged by God. We pause to pray, read God’s Word, and seek advice from Christian friends. That 5-10 minute break with God will likely end up vastly improving your week.
  3. We grow in our faith so we are ready when things don’t go right. I survived that race because I had prepared for a bad situation. I firmly believe one of the most important things we can do to be prepared for difficulty is to memorize scripture. We memorize scripture not to impress others or to fulfill some duty, but so that when we hit the wall we can bring God’s Word out of our memory banks. There have been so many difficult times in ministry where I’ve had to take a breathe and remember Philippians 4:13: I can do all things THROUGH Christ who gives me strength.

The Art of Battle

2 Corinthians 10:5New Living Translation (NLT)

We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

This week we begin, what I believe, is our most strategic teaching this far in Vital Men. It is the Conquer Series – The Battle Plan for Purity.

The Conquer Series is for any man who has ever struggled or is tempted to sin sexually, not only physically, but in the mind. The difference between prevailing and failing comes down to having a battle plan in place.

In the context of this series, we will be touching on a broad spectrum of sexual sins with men. In order to be truthful, I think it is best just to say we will be talking about masturbation, sexual fantasies, viewing pornography, and engaging in sexual activities outside the marriage.

As men, we are bombarded every day with visual imagery, to listening on the radio, to the enemy whispering into our ears. Too many casualties happen and too many men lose to sexual desires. This is a calamity that can take our minds if we do not have a battle plan to fight this and conquer this.

We are going to join together as we take the beach head of sexual sin. We are a band of brothers. We will help each other in this great battle. We will come under attack, but with the Power of Jesus and the work of the Cross, WE WILL OVERCOME in Jesus’ Name!

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Men Groups – Join Us!

VITAL MEN

Tuesday Nights 6:30-8:00

Knoxville – Marion Co. Fairgrounds – Leader Kendall Brown 641-799-0906

Oskaloosa – Vital Ministries Building – Leader Tony Howard 641-295-5666

Ottumwa – Country Kitchen – Leader Rod Bruner 641-660-8596

 

Wednesday Nights 6:30-8:00

Pella – The Well Resource Center – Leader Buck Kraft 641-780-1295

Thursday Nights 6:30-8:00

Newton – Bridgehouse Coffee Co. – Leader Jeremy Masterson 641-521-4031

New Sharon – First Christian Church – Leader Charlie McMillian 641-891-1206

Vital Ministries News

Ecclesiastes 3:2New Living Translation (NLT)

A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.

Harvest season is here. There will be combines rolling. The corn and the beans are ready to be harvested. The leaves on the trees are changing. Fall is here! This time of year is my most favorite. The air is crisp in the morning. The temperatures are moderating. It does not get any better in our state of Iowa.

With the fall comes our Vital Men’s start up season. We are back this coming week in 6 different locations. We are starting a new series called, Conquer – The Battle Plan For Purity. I am more excited and challenged by this series that in years past. It all starts next week. I have listed the nights, times, and locations so you can get plugged in.

Do not hesitate or be passive. Join us!

VITAL MEN

Tuesday Nights 6:30-8:00

Knoxville – Marion Co. Fairgrounds – Leader Kendall Brown 641-799-0906

Oskaloosa – Vital Ministries Building – Leader Tony Howard 641-295-5666

Ottumwa – Country Kitchen – Leader Rod Bruner 641-660-8596

 

Wednesday Nights 6:30-8:00

Pella – The Well Resource Center – Leader Buck Kraft 641-780-1295

 

Thursday Nights 6:30-8:00

Newton – Bridgehouse Coffee Co. – Leader Jeremy Masterson 641-521-4031

New Sharon – First Christian Church – Leader Charlie McMillian 641-891-1206

 

Strength and Courage 

Michael

 

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

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