Author Archives: Brandon

Why we don’t “Keep the Change”

Have you tried to make a change in 2020?  Many of us have and I am sure many of us have already fallen short.  Studies show 92% of New Years resolution fail before Valentines Day.  So often we don’t do what we want and do what we don’t.. So lies our ever present struggle.  Romans says it like this:

15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate18 I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:15, 18-19, 24-25 NLT

 

 

3 Reasons Why we don’t succeed:

1.We focus on the what but don’t understand the how.

Many people will try to loose 20 lbs and then go back to the lifestyle that got them to where they needed to loose 20 lbs.  Many will will pay off a credit card only to go back to spending more than they make causing the debt to come back.

Goals don’t determine success.
Systems determine success.

“You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.” James Clear

2. We don’t see progress fast enough.

We want results in a month that took years to create and years to correct. No one gains 20 lbs in a day or racks up $20k on a credit card.  It is the daily choices that compound over time. 

Our life is the sum total of all the small decisions that we make! Successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally. It’s the things that no one sees that bring results everyone wants.

It is the failing and getting back up, praying, enduring criticism, early mornings, late nights, grind, persistence, and private price built up overtime that is being stored up creating the results you are looking for!

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

3. Our distorted identity sabotages our success.

We do something bad and the enemy tells us that we are bad. You didn’t do it right the first time and you think you are bad.   Most people start with DO GOALS.  The best way to start is not DO GOALS but WHO GOALS. Who do you want to become in 5 Years?

Identity Shapes Actions.

When you know WHO you want to be you will know better what to DO. So start this year writing down WHO you want to be. Then work backwards and discuss what you need to DO to become the WHO you want to be. 

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Light in the Darkness

Christmas is full of emotions for everyone.  There is mistletoe and eggnog.  There can be new people at the Christmas table that come in small packages. There are gifts and lots of food. At the same time this day can be full of lots of different emotions.  There are people who used to be at the table that are not there anymore. There might not be anyone at the table. Some people at your table might like Trump while others don’t. Some want to save whales and some want to kill whales.  Some you just hope don’t sit next to each other at the table. Lets be honest, Christmas stopped being the happiest time of the year when our eyes were opened to the reality of this world isn’t puppy dogs and roses. 

When Jesus was born, angels, shepherds, and kings came to worship him.  Over 300 prophecies where fulfilled and satan had his head crushed. In the midst of this glorious moment, a sub plot that was incredibly dark was playing in the backdrop. Jesus was born as an infant to a middle class family in what appeared to be a scandal.  Who believed the pregnant engaged couple was actually a virgin birth? He was born in a barn while a lunatic king made every effort for his death.  Roman soldiers killed every male child under the age of two.  Every family was effected and grieving. Jesus was a constant reminder of the one male child that was not murdered. 

Christmas is not a reminder that the world is a really nice old place, it is a place where wickedness flourishes unchecked, where children are murdered, where civilized countries make a lot of money by selling weapons to uncivilized ones so they can blow each other apart. Christmas is God lighting a candle; and you don’t light a candle in a room that’s already full of sunlight. You light a candle in a room that’s so murky that the candle, when lit, reveals just how bad things really are. The light shines shines in the darkness, says St John, and the darkness has not overcome it.”- NT Wright

So maybe your day is full of light or maybe it is full of darkness, either way Jesus came to shine a light in your darkness.  Today is a day to remember, that after the gifts are opened and coffee is brewed, to take time to invite the King, who left his Heavenly throne, to shine a candle to give you hope in the darkness.  Spend some time today thanking God for His light.

Helping People Live a Better Story

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.

  1. 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.

2. 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? 

3. Beware of comparison

I have been married to my wife for 14 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 

Power of Purpose

This Monday, I went to a Starbucks and bought coffee for the two people behind me in line.  They were pleasantly surprised at their free coffee.  We talked about their journey in Medical School and the stress of picking where they were headed in medicine.  Their pick determines their residency and if they decide to change later they will start over in residency.  They were both in long term relationships.  

I started talking about moving to south Florida to start a church.  They told me they went to church when they were home with their parents but struggled to find a church here.  They asked me why I was planting a church here.  I told them I am planting a church to reach people who do not go to church.  Their response was perfect: “why would someone who doesn’t want to go to church go to yours?”

I told them 3 reasons: 1. People dont need religion but to know God, like really know Him 2. People know they need friends 3. People need purpose

They shared with me how people who eat right and have purpose live better and healthier than anyone else.  It is amazing how purpose impacts our bodies. I shared with them how my vision is to have a church where it is common for people to have a purpose filled burden birth in conviction from God’s presence.  Then they use that purpose to make a difference in someone else’s life.  They were completely intrigued and couldn’t believe someone would move here to make that happen.  

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

God has a purpose that He wants to birth in your to make a difference in the life of someone else.  I caring for others and showing generosity, you will find life to the fullest!  So today get in God’s presence and find purpose.  Let that purpose lead you to help someone live a better story!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

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

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