What Makes Refuge Different

What Makes Refuge Different

Breaking the Mold – Finding the Middle Ground

Finding a church these days can mean a time-consuming search, wading through churches that offer various programs, styles, beliefs, and traditions.  In the church world there are a lot of buzz words such as “come as you are church”, “seeker church”, and “postmodern church”.  All of these are used to describe the personality, character, and style of a church.  However, Refuge Community Church doesn’t fit into any of these (or any other neatly packaged categories).  So what are we like? Read more about What Makes Refuge Different

Excellent!

Excellent!

Bill-S-Preston-Esq-alex-winter-25441150-451-296So why am I so uptight about excellence?  You may not realize it because I work extremely hard to temper my expectations of others, but I am passionate about excellence especially in the body of Christ.  Lots of people over the years have simply said “Tom’s just a perfectionist, OCD, or just plain anal about details”.  While I realize I often come across this way, that’s not why I struggle to accept mediocrity.  That word “mediocrity” was a perfect example.  At first I spelled it wrong, but I took the few minutes needed to go dictionary.com and figure out the appropriate spelling.  OCD?  No.  I spelled it correctly because I feel it’s important to be as competent as I can be.  I could have let it slide, but for me it’s a slippery slope of accepting lazy behaviors if I start letting little things slide.  When it comes to my service to the body of Christ, He deserves better from me.  One of the scriptures that’s shaped my attitudes over the years goes like this:

Luke 14: Figure the Cost Read more about Excellent!

Haaaaave you met Chris?

Haaaaave you met Chris?

WashburnEvery so often I like to use the Refuge Blog to tell you a little about the people that keep Refuge doing what we do.  So let me introduce to you to Chris Washburn.  Some say Chris needs no introductions because once you meet him, you will never forget him.  Could it be his tats?  Or maybe his gauged ear lobes or nose ring?  Some people believe those are the things that makes Chris “cool”, but I’m here to tell you there’s a lot more to Chris, a whole lot more.   Read more about Haaaaave you met Chris?

First World Problems

First World Problems

man holding head stressedI’ve been pondering the term “first world problems” a lot lately, mostly because so many people banter about it on Facebook and Twitter.  When they do, they are usually trying to make some point about how your problems aren’t really very serious compared to those who are starving and suffering all over the world.  When they post these little quips, it has the effect of making you feel like you are a selfish jerk for daring to complain about whatever isn’t going so well in your life.  So I am going to go on record today and say that this treatment is neither sensible, fair nor just.  Read more about First World Problems

Haaaaave you met Tom?

Haaaaave you met Tom?

TomFEvery so often I like to use the Refuge Blog to tell you a little about the people that keep Refuge doing what we do.  So we have this kinda strange dude who also goes by the name Tom, but since we have two Pastors named Tom at Refuge, I sometimes call him Raul. Anyway, I was thinking of one word to describe Tom. That’s a tough one, but the best word I can think of is “Groovy”. Yeah, Tom is kind of a throwback to the 70’s when Baretta was our favorite cop, we loved to hate JR, and Ponch and John came on right before The Love Boat which came on just before Fantasy Island. Remember those days? If I had to guess, (and it’s only a guess), if Tom has a favorite character in The Love Boat it’s probably Issac because he uses the phrase “out of sight”. Tom is quite “out of sight” but not just because he still watches reruns of Dallas. He’s “out of sight” because he’s mostly tucked away back in Kid’s Church on Sundays serving as Refuge’s Kidz4Christ pastor. Kids pastors often go unrecognized by people in the church who don’t have kids, so let me tell you a little about Raul…er…Pastor Tom Frontera. Read more about Haaaaave you met Tom?

A note from someone’s pastor

A note from someone’s pastor

I couldn’t argue with this logic.  Yes, though I love the people I lead and serve, I do sometimes feel this way.  Read it and take it in love…as the author intended. http://www.benreed.net/index.php/2013/01/16/a-note-from-your-pastor/?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=  

Don’t Miss the Point

Don’t Miss the Point

People familiar with Refuge Community Church know that we are passionate about fulfilling the gospel by caring for people as we’re told to do in James.  So we focus a WHOLE LOT on meeting the practical needs of the homeless and poor in our community.  But lest we forget, there is even more to the gospel.  If a person’s last words are any indicator of what’s most important to them, we need to recall Jesus’ last words before His ascension.  He told those who would follow Him to “go into the world and preach”. Read more about Don’t Miss the Point

You are unfit for ministry! (Well, so am I)

You are unfit for ministry! (Well, so am I)

I follow some of my favorite pastor-role-models on Twitter and while reading something an author I really admire wrote, I decided to go and google him to see if I could find a message he had written on a topic I was interested in.  So I typed in his name and up popped a page full of links to stuff he’s written, but also to stuff that’s been written about him.  This is the pastor of what you might call a mega-church and a man who has far-reaching influence.  Let’s call him “Pastor M”.  I was struck that there were several articles and blog entries fairly high up in the google rankings that were very critical of him and his ministry.  In the results were things like “He should step down…he should give up his position…he should repent” that sort of stuff.  So I decided to read some of them to see what the hubbub was about.   Read more about You are unfit for ministry! (Well, so am I)