Category: The Latest

Be Careful How You Hear

Be Careful How You Hear

     This Sunday, September 11th, 2016,  is the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 – amazing…   Our nation, indeed the world has changed dramatically since this event, almost as if there is a thick black line drawn which says: “BEFORE 9/11” and “AFTER 9/11”.  We wrestle with fear greater than the cold war era, for our missile defense system has always been pretty reliable, but terrorism fosters a more irrational kind of fear – the kind of fear that makes you question the trustworthiness of the person walking on the street next to you or on the plane with you.
     Consequently, the fear that comes at us is the kind that tempts us to isolation and mistrust.  Our connectedness used to be with our geographical neighbors – the families in the neighborhood, but most Americans do not socialize or even KNOW their neighbors.  The internet has become a virtual neighborhood, but not a very reliable one, and certainly not one from which you can borrow a cup of sugar!
     Our hope as Believers in Jesus is for something better:  Community.  Connection.  Friendships.  Serving One Another.  Respect.  Love.  Calling out one another’s destiny in Christ.  Unbelievers will rarely call out your destiny in God, but a brother will.  Our unbelieving friends won’t call you to righteousness, but a sister in Christ will.  We need each other to fulfill our high calling in Christ, to keep faith vibrant and alive, to be reminded of our eternal destiny – which is not here!
     So let us open our hearts to Jesus and to one another.  When the Accuser of the Brethren comes to you,  trying to separate you from the Body of Christ by outlining the faults and flaws of brothers and sisters in Christ, why should we listen?    Why listen to the most flawed and fault-filled being in the universe?  Why? ..when we can listen to the voice of the Perfect One who created all things; Who sustains us in His love, and Who sent His Son to REDEEM what Satan had corrupted, polluted, and degraded – namely: us.   Should we not guard against offense based upon our flaws?  Of course we are flawed and faulty, but so is everyone on the planet.   That is why He gave us His power to love and forgive – a new standard higher than our faults and flaws.
     We are redeemed from sin and hell and death, so let us tune OUT the one who only seeks to bring these things back into our lives.  God grant us discernment and grace as to WHO we HEAR and WHAT we LISTEN to.
     Jesus Christ said:  “Take care what you listen to.” (Mark 4:24 NASB)   May we always seek to hear our Savior’s voice, the whisper of His Spirit, and the heart of Our Father for us, our families, His Church, our nation, and all who dwell on the earth which He made and sustains…and disregard the Accuser of the Brethren.
In Jesus name,
Tom
Our Deep Desire

Our Deep Desire

Real Life Fellowship began in a living room in September 2009. Our heart was to see if God would bless and lead a congregation whose heart was to explore what a truly Holy Spirit-led church would look like, where the pastor is just one of the five church leaders as outlined in Scripture. Our heart is that the Body of Christ would find a fuller expression where, though the pastor’s voice is heard, the Body is not limited to only his voice, believing that the Holy Spirit can speak through prophets, apostles, evangelists, teachers, and even the most quiet-spoken Spirit-filled individuals, if there is a holy forum whereby His Voice may be heard, and all are WILLING to seek Him and listen.

For many of us, it has been a long road through different denominations, but our desire is that Jesus Christ lead us into a fresh wine skin, a model that He may more directly lead by His Word and His Spirit.  We believe that there is not a better Leader than God Himself, Who is able to lead us, if we will but trust Him to do so, with a corporate heart to follow His counsel, His Word, and His Spirit, as discerned by the Body.

This has not been easy. In different seasons, people have seen this differently. Some have had unhealed agendas, and have seen us as a clean slate upon which they can write. Others had expectations that could not be met and they decided to leave. But we have not given up.  What we seek is not stemming from arrogance or rebellion, but of desire. We are not anti-traditional, anti-evangelical, or anti any other current church model. We LOVE the Body of Christ!  We’ve just handed God the reins and asked Him, “Who do You want us to be? How do You want us to look?  Will You lead us?” It has taken more faith and trust than we initially would have believed to let God lead us in this way, but it continues to be a rewarding Holy Spirit adventure as we are wisely led by Jesus Christ, speaking through a broader expression of His people.

Why We Need Every Member

Why We Need Every Member

Awhile ago, I got in a somewhat ‘lively’ discussion about what our vision is as a church. When I explained that we were seeking to be a truly Spirit-led church, they took it like I was condemning a lot of other good and well-meaning congregations who would say that they, too, are Spirit-led churches.  When I explained that most churches are led by a pastor, while the role of pastor is only one of the Biblical leadership roles in the Body, and that we were looking for a fuller representation of leadership in the Body of Christ, they finally understood that I was not slamming the churches around us.

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The Dream of Real Church

The Dream of Real Church

In December of 2008, I began to see a different kind of church – one where people could be honest about where they struggled and still be accepted as fellow believers – so that they could truly grow and become more like Christ. Only 9 months later, God began something new. My wife,Teri and I found others who were seeking the same thing and we began meeting together in our home in Los Osos to find out what God wanted us to do.

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Community

Community

The Greek word “Koinonia” means to be cemented to each other as God’s family while being simultaneously cemented to Jesus Christ as Lord and therefore the central Person of our shared lives.  With this understanding, we endeavor to encourage one another to grow in our love and knowledge of Jesus Christ, grow in godly character, grow in grace, grow in our love for people, and to grow in holiness, i.e. showing forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit in increasing measure.

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