I first contacted my passion for authentic body life while a student in junior high. My parents had been touched by a fresh experience with the fullness of the Spirit in the mid 1960s, and as a result they and many of their friends were slowly ostracized from the denominational fellowship they called home. They discovered the simplicity of gathering in homes to share the life of Jesus in fellowship, meals, prayer and Scripture study.
My next touch with authentic fellowship came in the early 1970s while a student at Oral Roberts University. The best aspect of spiritual life on campus consisted of fellowship groups in the dorms and a once a week vespers service shared by all the students. As young and inexperienced as we were we saw God's Spirit do some tremendous things through ordinary lives. We saw how much being part of that shaped our own discipleship. For the next 20 years I sought to find similar expressions of that fellowship, first as a staff pastor of a growing mega-church, then as part of a team that wanted to plant an alternative, house-church based fellowship in Central California. While both experiences had some moments of incredible shared life together and forged deep friendships that exist to this day, the institutional needs of the organization overcame the relational opportunities of being God's people together. The experiences left me even hungrier for the simple and authentic body life.
Through some incredibly painful events my wife Sara, our two children and I found ourselves in 1994 forced to choose whether we would follow our conscience or conform to the expectations others had for us. Since that time we have connected with brothers and sisters who have just wanted to share God's life together, both in our own locality and throughout the U.S. and world. We have tasted the joy of losing our dependence on human systems to produce body life and are enjoying the fruitfulness of relationships with other believers that allow us to be genuine and supportive without manipulating others to our own agenda.
We moved to Oxnard, CA in 1999 and have begun to link up with other believers in this area hungering for life together. I do some writing and consulting which allows me to meet with believers in all kinds of settings, and I also mediate religious conflicts in public education. Sara is a career counselor at a local high school and we are both enjoying our grown children. We love to find fellow travelers on this journey and look for ways to encourage each other.
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