Author Archives: Brandon

What do I do with this?

I grew up being told I should be well rounded.  I should work on my weaknesses.  The problem with that is my voice.  I cannot sing.  I got put on a worship team one time and they muted my microphone.  Talk about embarrassing.  The only other vocalist was a girl.  So everyone knew what happened.  True story!  I tried playing the cello, violin, trombone, and guitar.   Here is what I learned: all I can play well is an Iphone.  

photo-1442819516624-aa7a9bd24b63I am not good at managing details, God’s wisdom is not what comes first to my mind, and leadership as it makes sense to me does not look like Jesus.  Even the good things I do, at times I do for the wrong reasons.  

Then I look at all the places I have grown and I compare them to the calling God has for me, and I see a gap of weakness in my gifting. So often I do not feel like I belong as a pastor or the role I get to play.  Because of my past, I feel disqualified to tell other people about Jesus. 

2 Corinthians 12:9  “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In the weakness of my sin, Jesus wants me to walk in victory that way I can boast in His freedom.  In the weakness of the gifts I don’t have, I trust in Him to raise other people up who are strong in that gifting.  In the weakness of the gift He gave me I trust him to grow the gifting.  It is hard to walk in pride when you see your gifting and compare it to God’s calling on your life.  Humility acknowledges that we need Jesus to grow the gift in us. 

So where do you need to trust the power of Christ in your weakness.  What sin do you need to confess?  What gifting do you not have that you need to trust someone else to do?  What gift do you have that you need the power of Christ to grow and develop?

Go to Jesus and trust in His power for you to be all you were created to be!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus,

Brandon Sereg

How could this be good?

Have you ever had to take a pill so big you had to chew it first?  It is a terrible experience!  Bitter does not even begin to describe the taste, my own vomit tastes better than this!  So why would I do that more than one time? Great question… I want to not be sick more than I want to not taste the pill.  I know the pill is going to be good for me in the long run.

photo-1463114680351-75863cab5bf3When it comes to taking medicine, I rarely feel better the next day.  I have to trust that the Doctor knows what he is talking about.  I think my pill experience is a lot like my faith experience.  

This last week I was singing a song about God being good and He never lets us down.  The song lyrics were “You are good, good” over and over.  Every time I would sing it I would visualize one of the worst days of my life.  I could see one of my spiritual mentors telling me they had an affair.  I can see the room where a pastor fired me twice.  I can see a family member telling me they were hoping for my marriage to end in divorce.  I can remember a coach telling me he couldn’t build a team on a senior quarterback.  I can remember some tense moments in my marriage.  I can remember when my parents told me they were getting a divorce, multiple times. I can remember thinking my wife was going to die when she had miscarriage in our shower.  I can remember when our son was born not breathing and blue.  I can remember sitting at an intersection thinking about driving in front of a semi. I would see these moments in my mind like I was there, I remember where people were in the room, and how I felt. 

Genesis 50:20  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good

So many times I have experience real pain, and it could have taken me out.  These broken moments have been the times where I have experienced God’s grace, strength, compassion, forgiveness, and love the most.  I can see now how God has taken these dark days and brought me to a new place of understanding who He is.  In all the disappointment, loss, rejection, compromise, and death I believe more than I ever have that God is good and He is for me.  What other people intended to harm me, God intended it for good!

So where do you need to declare God is good in your life?  Where does God need to reveal who He is in your life?  Go to Him now! Let His goodness heal you, restore you, forgive you!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

How to relate with Jesus

Like when I first got married, I knew I was supposed to “leave my parents and cleve to my wife” but I had a really good dad.  What is my relationship with him supposed to look like?  I knew I shouldn’t talk about marriage problems or struggles I had with Johna, but what can I talk about?  Money has a lot to do with marriage, can I talk with him about that? I did not know how to relate with my dad.

Have you ever felt that way with Jesus?  Like you know Jesus loves you, died for you, and wants to know you, but you don’t know how to engage with Him.  One way that has really helped me along the way is to know how Jesus wants to relate to me.  Jesus called himself a shepherd and said I am like his sheep.  

photo-1423766111988-c47a5ff6ed06John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.

So here are 3 things a shepherd does:

  1. Defend the sheep

A good shepherd does not expect the sheep to defend itself. Now a sheep should stay where the shepherd has designated, and sheep do tend to wander away.  If a lion or a bear come for a sheep, a good shepherd defends the flock.  Even when a sheep wanders, the parable of the lost sheep says, the good shepherd leaves the 99 to get the one that went their own way.  So where are you looking to defend yourself instead of letting Jesus defend you?  Where are you straying from Jesus and need to call out to have Him rescue you?

2. Lead the sheep

Psalm 23 says he leads us to green pasture and still water.  He is our source.  Money, sex, success, GPAs, food, and relationships are all good things, but the make terrible sources for our lives.  They make terrible gods.  The Good Shepherd wants to lead you to live giving places, but might lead you through a desert, wilderness, thorn bush to get there.  He alone knows what lies on the smoother path.  A good sheep learns to trust the the good Shepherd has the best plan.  Where are you trying to make your own way?  What are you trusting in to be your source? Where do you need to be a good sheep and trust where the shepherd is leading you?

3. Care for sheep

A good shepherd cares for their sheep.  They are not concern with only what they get from them, but has great intensions for them.  A good shepherd cleans wounds, carries when exhausted, watches late into the night, lays down his life for his sheep.  That is what Jesus wants to do in you. What wounds do you need him to clean?  Where do you need Him to carry you?  

For Jesus to be your shepherd you have to choose to be His sheep!  Let Him protect, lead, and care for you.  

Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

The Battle Within

photo-1443683263937-3e377546e8a8 (1)Have you ever felt like there was a battle inside you? You want to do what is right and you want to do what is popular. Then you feel like you have to choose between them. Which one wins out? Do you ever feel like the one you want to win doesn’t? We feel totally out of control. Yet we do not want to feel controlled. Why is it that we are afraid to be controlled by God? I think it is because we have a hard time trusting we would like the outcome of His control.

Romans 8:9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

For us who are in Christ (we have made Jesus our savior and King), the Holy Spirit lives in us. This means you do not fight this battle within on your own, but there is ONE that is greater. The Spirit that took 3 day old dead Jesus and made Him alive again, is the SAME SPIRIT who gives you the power you need to live in victory from your sinful nature.

Now what of the sin that we struggle with even as believers. If we are in Christ, why do we still sin? Great question! It is because salvation happens in a moment, yet is a journey to complete. In Christ, both natures are at war within us. So how does one win out? Is there a way for us to find victory?

If a man has two dogs. These dogs are trained to fight each other. Which one wins? The one you feed.

This is true in battle between our sinful nature and The Spirit within us. The one we feed will win. If we fill our lives with things of this world then our sinful nature will win out. If we fill our lives with God’s word, His presence, and mission he has planned for us then the Spirit will win.

What are you feeding? What is winning the battle within you? Where do you need to go ask the Holy Spirit to help you? GO DO IT!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Four Letter Word

The word we are going to talk about feels like a 4 letter word. It is actually 5 letters, but the word puts many of us on edge. We have allowed this word in our lives and many of us have been burned. People have taken this word and abused us or other people we know. Want to know this word?

Trust… We have given it to people of authority, friends, family, co workers, pastors, and many others. They have taken advantage of our trust and left us keeping our trust in ourselves. Then we have lied to ourselves. We have said we will get up earlier, we will spend more time reading the Bible, we will get with a mentor, we can afford the payment, only one more chip, only one more tv show… we all know how those go. We make new years resolutions and commitments to ourselves and don’t follow through. This leads us to not trust anyone including ourselves. If everyone breaks our trust and we break our own trust, then we put that fear on God. A very big part of following Jesus is trusting Him, but we are afraid to. Then we come across verses like this:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Now God wants us to trust Him with ALL our heart. Then the what if questions start flowing. What if I trust him _____, and it turns out different than I want it to? What if He doesn’t want me to get married? What if He says no? Then not only does He want me to trust my heart to Him when my “truster” is broken, now He wants me to do it even when I do not understand. Then He wants me to trust him in setting my direction and He wants to choose the paths I take.

But that would be like my finances, my relationships, my dreams, my passions, my Friday nights, and my future. That requires A LOT of trust!!!! How can we give a God we cannot see that much of our heart?

In the 1930’s, a man had a model A car. It was broken down on the side of the road, and another man walks up and offers to help. This man is walking and the driver of the car thinks he can’t trust the walking with fixing his car. However, the walking guys just happens to be Henry Ford, the creator of the Model A. I would say the driver was safe to trust Henry to fix his car.

You have a creator, and your truster is broke. You don’t know how and if it could be fixed, but there is One who can fix you. There is One who can heal you. There is only One who is WORTHY of your complete trust. He gave His life on a cross to prove His commitment to your healing and He is worthy of your trust. His promises to you will not fail, His commitment to you will not let you down. You can trust Him.

Where do you need to trust Him? Where do you need to walk in faith where do you don’t understand? Where do you need to seek Him in how you live? Where do you need to trust Him in the path He called you to?

Recklessly, Obsessively Following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

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