Author Archives: Brandon

5 Steps to Keep the Romance Alive

Is the romance in your relationship as vibrant as it once was?  If it isn’t, there is nothing wrong with your relationship! It is normal for that passion to dissipate as the relationship matures.  Now before you get depressed thinking you will never again have passion or you need a new relationship to have it again, keep reading. Creating passion takes work.  If you are a hopeless romantic and think that sounds cold, give me just a second before you stop reading. You might have attraction at first sight, but real love something quite different.  You see real love takes pursuit. You have to act to start love and keep it alive. 

When I began dating my wife, I pursued her.  I took her to restaurants (and paid btw), wrote her notes, and just talked for hours about life and our dreams.  These actions stirred passion and took time and planning. So what do you do when that passion or spark isn’t there and you want it back?

Song of Songs 2:11 The season has changed,
the bondage of your barren winter has ended,
and the season of hiding is over and gone.
The rains have soaked the earth

  1. Have Fun

Go do something fun you both enjoy.  Go to a place where you can laugh and have some light hearted conversation.  Do try to win if it is competitive. Look for ways to flirt. Oh some flirting advice… the way you like to be flirted with is NOT how they like to be flirted with.  So guys lets flirt on her terms. Laughter is so important in keeping passion alive. So let loose and have fun. 

 

  1. Quality Time

Dinner and a movie can really put a lid on your conversation. The real conversations are often hard for people to have when there are tables and listening ears around. If you talk at the movie everyone around you hates you.  I like to think intimacy is like it sounds: “in to me see.” Passion over time is linked to sharing your dreams, pains, feelings, and hopes. It is some of the deepest parts of who we are and the only way for that to be shared is making space for quality time.

  1. Communicate What You Want

Romance looks different for everyone.  Your special someone is not a mind reader.  They need you to share with them what romance looks like to you.  Just because they can’t read your mind does not mean they don’t “get you.”  And no, just because you can’t read their mind doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. When your special someone tries and misses that is NOT your moment to tell them. Be grateful you have someone who is trying to pursue you. So let your someone know what makes you tick. 

  1. Keep “Pursuit” Alive

Pursuit takes time and planning. Your special someone feels valued by your time.  I know I put a lot of time and passion into Vibrant. My wife feels greatly valued when I choose the restaurant and plan the date.  She likes it when I randomly dance with her inside of a store or our kitchen. She likes it when I call her in the middle of the day just to check in on how she is doing.  It lets her know, though I am working hard, I am still thinking about her. Pursuit takes intentionality and consistent pursuit will keep romance alive.

  1. Budget for Romance

I know this doesn’t sound sexy. There are so many things in our lives looking for our hard earned money.  To have a three day get away, go to the nice restaurant, or even to just date regularly, it will take investment.  If you make a million dollars this year and lose the relationship, you didn’t win. Every month we put money in an envelope so we can regularly date.  Put money in for someone to watch the kids. Dating does not have to be expensive, but it will cost you something and it is worth investing in. 

I hope this helps you keep the romance alive or put a new spark in it. Today do something even if it feels small to pursue. If you would like to hear more about how to have healthy relationships. Starting September 15th, we will begin a new teaching series called #RelationshipGoals.  We would love to help you navigate healthy dating and marriage. Relationships are hard, so let’s set some goals together. 

Live a Better Story

 

Brandon Sereg
Lead Pastor 
@brandonsereg
@yourvibrantchurch

3 Keys to Fighting Fair

Have you ever been in a fight with that special someone and it seems to only get worse?  I am a pastor who has been married for 14 years and we still have those moments. It doesn’t matter if you just started dating or you have been married for decades, we do not always think the same thoughts, feel the same feelings, or share the same beliefs. First of all, fighting is not bad! Passion is good and we should fight for deep convictions. So when conflict happens, because it will, there are some keys to fighting fair.  So I hope this helps you…

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is large and incredibly patient.  Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. 5 Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. 6 Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. 7 Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as a defeat, for it never gives up.

3 Keys to Fighting Fair

 

  • Don’t Fight to “Win”

 

Whenever we are looking to win, we are looking for someone else to lose.  In relationships, you can win an argument and still lose. If one person ends up on top by putting down or belittling the other person, everyone loses.  It is easy to disagree and want the other person to think like you do, but often times they won’t.  

Fighting to win is a mindset you get into before the fight. I know I can have conversations in my head before the fight so I can anticipate her response.  What is crazy is at times I will get mad at her for things she said in the fight in my head that she never said. So when the fight actually happens I have set myself up to “win.” So many times I have “won” the argument and wounded the person I love.  In the moment it might feel like winning, but the hours and days to follow show nobody won. So here is an alternative: 

  1. Fight “For” not “Against”

Fight for unity.  First, unity is not uniformity. Uniformity is you think, believe, and agree on everything.  That is not realistic, and if you want your special someone to think, believe, and agree with you all the time, they might as well be you. You didn’t want to date or marry you.  You wanted someone who broadened the way you look at the world, and not just someone who sees everything the same as you. 

Unity is much different.  Unity is we agree on a destination.  If you have kids you both want them to be great adults that thrive, but you might disagree on how to get there.  Unity in destination removes the need to be right and try to win, because you are not fighting for you but a common destination.  So try starting the conversation in fighting for unity in destination and then talk about the how.

  1. Look First to Understand

This is where real love comes in.  Love does not prefer self first but others. A major key to fighting fair is to understand the other person.  In my marriage, we have this phrase “What I hear you say is…” then I put in my own words what I thought she said.  Then I listen to her reply. Most of the time, what I heard is not what she said. Then she tries to say it again. We do this until I say back what she said.  It is only then she feels heard. Then I give my opinion only after she is understood. Another piece of this is sometimes even though I understand what she said, I might not agree. That is okay.  We might not ever agree on every “how to get to the destination,” but uniformity is not the goal. It is okay when they think, feel and believe differently. Respect is letting that be. You can go back and forth often without it getting out of hand when you respect them enough to not be you. 

I hope this was helpful and you can take steps toward fighting fair.  Remember, when you don’t fight fair or they fight fair remember: no one is perfect.  We have to show grace and forgive. That is just part of relationship. 

If you would like to hear more about how to have healthy relationships.  Starting September 15th we will begin a new teaching series called #RelationshipGoals.  We would love to help you navigate healthy dating and marriage. Relationships are hard, so let’s set some goals together. 

 

Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
Lead Pastor 
@brandonsereg
@yourvibrantchurch

5 Steps to Hearing God’s Voice

Prayer is so much better when it is two directional! But how do you know what is God and what is just you?  So many people ask how to hear God’s voice and how to know if it is really Him. I want to encourage you that God wants you to hear His voice more than you do!

John 10:27 My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me.

5 Steps to Hear God’s Voice

  1. Adjust Your Pace

A mentor of mine told me “God is not in a hurry.”  We live very busy lives and God wants us to slow down.  You will never read Jesus doing anything more than a walking pace.  Jesus slowed His pace to make sure He kept relationship with His Father strong. One of the key reasons many Christians don’t hear God is their pace.  Slow your mind, slow your role, and wait on God.

2. Get in Silence

Jesus often snuck away from the crowd to be alone with His Father in prayer. He knew as a many He leaked.  The only way for Him to get filled up was to get alone with His good Father.  The same is true for us.  It is when we separate from the busyness and worries that can consume us, then we are open to hear His voice. 

3. Listen More than You Speak

Have you ever sat down with someone and they did all the talking?  Imagine sitting down with Abraham Lincoln and you only had 30 minutes.  How much do you really want to spend talking? God is the creator of the universe and the inventor of you!  The richest time in prayer is in the listening and hearing. 

4. Get in Scripture

God is not only speaking now but He has spoken!  I read through the Bible every year and every day God shows me new things I had never seen or understood. So much of His plan and heart for your life has been written for thousands of years.  I would recommend reading Psalms and the book of John. 

5. Obey

Often God is looking for us to obey what He has already spoken. Imagine a basketball player who wants to perfect a half court shot but can’t make a layup. God has a journey planned for you and there is a step 1 and step 100.  You cannot take step 100 until you obey step 1.  Obeying God is about trusting Him that the journey that is often dimly lit is a good and leads to life.

I hope you take these steps and pray God opens your ears to hear His voice in your life!

Live a Better Story

Pastor Brandon

5 Keys to Know God’s Will

If God has a plan for your life how do you know what it is?  So many people ask me how to discover God’s will for their life.  It is such a real question.  I want to encourage you that God wants you to know His will for your life more than you do!

Ephesians 2:10  We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!

So here are 5 keys to know God’s will:

  1. Pray

Prayer is conversational.  It is not intended to be religious or pious. Think if you were sitting down with the best dad ever who wants you to win, how would you talk to Him.  Heart posture matters.  If you had 30 minutes to have conversation how much do you really want to talk?  I think listening is the most important part of prayer

2. Get in God’s word

So much of God’s will for your life is already in His word.  He has a plan for how to win in  relationships, your finances, and to make how to make a difference.  If you have not read the Bible before a great place to start is in John (that is about 2/3 in). Focus on the words Jesus said. Let His written word be a focus in knowing His will.

3. Get a mentor

Life is not intended to be alone.  David had Samuel, Joshua had Moses, Timothy had Paul.  I could list many more.  God often reveals His will in relationship with people who can help us get where God wants us to be. God speaks to other people on our behalf.  His plan is we not just me.

4. Walk in Faith

Many times God leads us to do things that are very uncomfortable.  Quick hint: if it is easy and you can do it without God, your vision is too small… Faith is doing the things God tells us to do by His strength and power.  Faith is trusting that God is good and faithful.  We are trusting that f you do what He told us to do, the outcome is for good and He will give us what we need to do it.

5. Start Serving

God’s will for your life is to love Him by serving others.  Jesus often spoke of when you use the gifts He gave you to help people, it is as if we did it to Him.  There is no greater feeling than knowing you made a lasting difference in the life of someone else.

So today… Spend 10 minutes talking with God, read one chapter in the book of John, set up a time with a Godly mentor to seek wisdom, take a step of faith that scares you, and serve someone who cannot serve you back.

Live a Better Story

Pastor Brandon

When Scripture Speaks to You…

Several years ago, my life was not in a good place.  My marriage, job, family, finances, vehicles and a few other things were all wrong all at the same time.  I was overwhelmed.  I was completely discouraged.  Everything seemed to be spiraling out of control until one day…

I was spending time in scripture just like any other day. There was one verse I had read many times that just popped off the page. 

John 10:10 A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy.

I know I have a real enemy. He complicate things that should come easy.   He speaks lies to me that do not sound like lies. He tries to lead me to find comfort in things that do not satisfy. When I partake in these short term comforts, I find myself chained to the thing I went to for comfort. Joy stolen and hope slaughtered. The shame and confusion that follows leads to justifying myself doing what I know is wrong.  Then I do not know what is truth and what is a lie. The problem with deception is I am deceived. You see my enemy is alive and he is working for my complete destruction.

That same enemy is doing the same to you!  Then he tells you that you are the only one with those struggles.  Another lie!

Now here is the second part of the verse…

But I have come to give you everything in abundance,  more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!

For as much as I have an enemy out to destroy me, I have King who is my friend who is out to bless me in abundance, even more than I expect. He said His plan for my life is “Life in its fullness until I overflow!”  When I read that and looked at my life, I saw a massive gap between His promise and my reality.  I had made poor decisions in my marriage, family, finances, etc. and made them in abundance. Ever feel that way?

So I began to pray.  I asked God for mercy because I did not deserve His promise.  I asked Him to forgive me and give me the grace to change.  I asked Him to bless me in the fullness of what He said in John 10:10.  My behaviors began to change.  I had to ask forgiveness for new things even after this for sure.  I sought mentors to help me.  Overtime my marriage was in a great place, we got out of debt but the house, family relationship were restored, and the vehicles story is for another day! My life is far from perfect, but it is far from the day I mentioned above.

Here is what I learned.  We have Jesus and an enemy looking to lead us. We choose who we follow.  God’s mercy and grace are greater than you expect and the life He has planned for you if “fullness until you overflow.”  You can’t change yesterday’s decision, but you can choose today whom you will follow. I pray God’s grace leads you to follow His Son.  It will not be easy. I will be hard often.  But there is faith, hope and love on the journey and that satisfies!

Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg

Vital Mission

Be part of the Vital Mission and commit to a regular monthly donation to help with the costs involved with supporting our Vital Men events and outreach in our communities.

Click the donate button below to setup your recurring monthly donation.

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike on kBOE 104.9FM

LISTEN NOW



Listen Anytime On:

Spotify Channel

iTunes Podcast