Hospitality and The Office

the hospitality

– ryan james ross

Have you ever been invited into a space that overwhelmed you with gratitude and awe?

Like being invited into a group or party that made you think,

“Who am I that I get to be here?”

“Who am I that I get to be with these people?”

I remember a time recently where Rachel and I got invited to a party with these friends that we really loved and admired. The invite to spend time with them and their family in their home meant the world to us. To share life with them moved us from admiring fans to real friends; people that do life together. Rachel and I felt like, “Who are we that they would like us?!” Yes, even though that sounds like middle school social dynamics stuff, let’s be honest… even as adults we feel like that sometimes!

I remember the first time I got invited to go to Ken and Margie Blanchard’s house. I had read Ken’s books. I was shaped by his lessons in leadership. I had heard him speak in front of huge audiences and I had even heard other famous people talk about Ken and Margie Blanchard. I was in awe when I sat in their living room and found myself eating and drinking with them like a friend — like family.

I remember this one day, sitting with Ken Blanchard and Dawn Neldon, and Ken asks us to review his sermon writing and give any suggestions to make it better! Yes, you can laugh…us review his writing. Dawn and I looked at each other and audibly said, “Who are we that we get invited into this space?!”

This “inviting others in close” is also called hospitality, and it is a mark of divine community.

The study of hospitality throughout the books of the Bible is fascinating. There are so many passages that teach the ethos of inviting others in close, taking care of them, and creating community. Try a google search on verses about hospitality, and you’ll get a great list to read through. A list that will reveal the God of hospitality throughout the old and new testaments. Let’s just hit a few great passages here.

From the very beginning, as God was laying out life principles for his people in the book of Leviticus, He charges His people to invite strangers and foreigners in close:

“Treat them [the stranger among you] as if they were your own, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”  ~ Leviticus 19:34

Obedience to this principle of radical hospitality would’ve created a very diverse and loving community made up of all kinds of racial and religious backgrounds. Imagine living this out in a time where racism, division, and judgment of the other was rampant. But that was back then, right? [smirk]

Centuries later, the Son of God comes on the scene and models what a life of hospitality and love looks like on the streets — and it shocked the religious elite. Jesus created community with everybody, and in a time where righteousness was evidenced by what you ate and who you ate with (or more like what you wouldn’t eat and who you wouldn’t eat with), Jesus’ kind of hospitality actually looked totally irreverent.

Jesus even says of Himself that he modeled a life of eating and drinking with everybody. And people called him a glutton and drunkard because of it.

“The Son of Man comes eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.”  ~ Matthew 11:19

Jesus created community parties wherever he went, and the wisdom that was revealed in this was that people felt comfortable with him, they built relationships with Jesus, and by this He was able to speak into their lives and give them the good news of who He was.

So, the early Christians in the first century began to follow Jesus’ way and they continued to invite everyone into the God family. The community of hospitality grew and challenged some deeply held misunderstandings of who God would invite into His family – who was worthy to sit at the table.

Acts 10 contains an incredible story of God giving Peter a vision that made Peter stop judging people as pure or impure, clean or unclean. It drove Peter into community with Cornelius — they entered a home together and ate and drank just like Jesus did, and it changed the life of Cornelius and Peter alike. That moment launched the early church into being a people known for hospitality to the other once again, and it should be a characteristic of Jesus community to this very day.

Is it?

I think God puts people on our hearts all the time. People that He wants us to reach out to, strangers that He wants us befriend. Who could you invite in close this next week? Is there someone that you could create a party with, have over for dinner, go do something with?

Is there someone outside that you know would like to be invited in?

This “inviting others in close” is called hospitality, and it is a mark of divine community.

I got the opportunity to talk about some of this on a podcast with our good friends over at Orchard Community Church.

You can listen to that here: How to Find and Build Community

And now…

the office [not dunder mifflin]

We’ve got office… and what a story of Jesus-like hospitality.

Our team has been searching for a spot where we can meet, use wifi, and get stuff done throughout the week [starbucks was getting real old]. We’d put out a few feelers and just this weekend, we got word that our friends over at The Church at RB have a space for us!

This last weekend Nate and Ian [CRB staff] opened the door to a room and said, “will this be alright for you?” We walked in and saw an incredible space, nicer than any office we’ve ever had before.

It’s beautiful… and they’re asking if it will be OK for us? Ha!!!!

Yes, I believe it will suffice. : )

Once again, I was left feeling “who are we that we would be invited into this space?”

I know that people around Jesus felt that way all the time, and so, as Jesus followers, may we all continue to invite others in to share life with, foster community, and live out the hospitality that comes from our loving God. That kind of love saves the world.

the unicorns [again]

We wanted to remind you of our upcoming talk on parenting for moms of young kids. Uncommoners, Dawn Neldon and Maren Nelson are hosting Raising Unicorns at Maren’s house in Poway, March 27th, @ 9:30 – 11 AM

Join us for mimosas and mom-spiration as Dawn shares about growing kids who stand out in a world that tells them to fit in.

There’s still space left [for now] – click the red button to register!

Register for Unicorns

You are loved and valued.
Thank you and God Bless!

 

Joy and Unicorns

the joy

– cody james vermillion

So we got a baby this past weekend…

We didn’t, like, pick one up from the store or anything. That’d be weird.

What actually happened is that my super hero of a wife, Jen, gave birth to our second kiddo, Jovi Belle. And because everyone seems interested in a baby’s weight more than anything, I’ll share: 6lbs, 6oz. Not a big baby. But having a baby is always a big deal. The sheer terror, mixed with concern, mixed with anticipation, mixed with joy was overwhelming to say the least.

I don’t remember much, but I will never forget when one nurse looked at Jen and said assuringly “The pain will stop when you have your baby in your arms… all you will feel is joy.”

And she was right.

Jen pushed. Jovi came. Joy ensued.

It can’t be a coincidence that God led us to the name Jovi, which is derived from Jovial (But her name is just Jovi, okay? Okay.) And she has been living up to that name! I’m convinced that nothing brings more joy to life than bringing new life into the world.

Pause there.

“Bringing new life” isn’t just about having kids. We can bring life to this world in a lot of ways. In fact, at Uncommon [good] we believe it is the job of every Jesus follower to bring life to the world. But that’s a different post 😉

Back to babies. Babies bring joy. Sure, they cry and poop and puke and deprive you of sleep. But the incomparable joy that they bring kinda makes it all worth it. And the proof of that was in our first day home with Jovi. From day one the dynamics in our house couldn’t have been more joyful. Even Auggie, our dog, is in love with Jovi. And since day one, Hunter has been smitten with his sister. He wants to hold her all the time and he can’t stop kissing her and rubbing her hair and saying sweet things to her. It’s enough to make your heart explode.

 

See? Your heart exploded, right?

Now, I’m not so naive to think that there won’t be challenging days ahead. I don’t actually know if I’ve really slept at all. It’s all a bit of a blur. But right now our home and family is filled with a love and a joy that is palpable. It’s in these moments where I can’t help but be grateful to Jesus. See, cause I think that experiencing joy of any kind is actually a little taste of heaven. And that Jesus has this amazing way of taking our human experiences and producing a joy that is way beyond anything we could drum up on our own. Peter puts it this way:

“Though you have not seen him [Jesus], you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”

~ 1 Peter 1:8

 

Inexpressible and glorious joy. Yeah, I get that.

I feel that joy in our midst these days. And that’s a big deal, I think. Because, like you, I have experienced some pretty rough stuff in my life. But joy always seems to find its way through. And I know it has to be from knowing Jesus, cause there’s no way I could find it on my own. I remember early on in my faith when I had just started cracking open my leather-bound teen study bible, some verses stood out to me:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

~ James 1:2-4

 

When I read this, it had only been a couple of years since my dad had passed, and I was still in a dark place. It felt like my whole life for those years had been one big trial. So those verses hit hard. “I can have joy in… this?” Yep! There it was. Joy in the midst of struggle. Pain. Trials. So I took the challenge to “consider it pure joy” and just started looking for it in my life. And do you know what happens when you start looking for joy? You find it! Even in the hard times.

You find it in the sunrise. In your favorite song. In the cup of coffee you need to get going. The hilarious group text with your closest friends. The customer who wasn’t a jerk. The great conversation with the nice old lady you meet in Target who is looking at the same end table (yeah, that happened to us yesterday). It’s everywhere.

It would be so easy for Jen and I to live in the pain, sleeplessness, and stress of having a newborn while also managing to raise a three year old. But by His grace, we are able to experience that inexpressible joy. And we aren’t gonna waste it.

God has given our family a new season. We are going to seize this time. We are going to have fun and enjoy life even when we are exhausted. Because joy is what I want to choose. Joy is what I want to impart to my kids. And now I have written it in a post that will be kicking around the interwebs forever… so I have to do it, right? 😉

And so…

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

– Romans 5:13

the unicorns

While we are on the subject of parenting…

We wanted to invite you to an Uncommonly [good] talk on parenting for moms of young kids. Uncommoners, Dawn Neldon and Maren Nelson are hosting Raising Unicorns at Maren’s house in Poway, March 27th, @ 9:30 – 11 AM

Join us for mimosas and mom-spiration as Dawn shares about growing kids who stand out in a world that tells them to fit in.

There are only 40 spots – click the red button to register!

Register for Unicorns

You are loved and valued.
Thank you and God Bless!

Weekly Update 3-2-2018

groceries & [living water]

– brad lichtman

I was at Costco the other day and noticed the name tag on the young woman setting up to bag my groceries. It said “Photini.” I engaged her and asked if I was pronouncing her name correctly, to which she replied, “yes.” I then remarked that I could not recall coming across that name before. She informed me that it was the name of a saint. I had to ask, “do you mind telling me the saint of what?” She said it was the name of a Samaritan. I paused a quick second and then asked, “the woman at the well?” She seemed surprised and said, “yes.” Curious, I admitted I didn’t know that and asked if the name was in scripture, to which she said she was Orthodox and it was in her tradition. I thanked her for sharing that and for doing such a great job bagging my groceries. As I left, we were all smiles.

Driving away I thought of several things that intersected in that moment. First was how faithful God is to granting my almost daily request to put someone in my path whom I could bless, even if only in a small way. Second, of the hundreds of people with whom this contemporary Photini must interact each working day, very few probably treat her as a real person, someone of tremendous value. She has a menial job in a very large organization. She is supposed to be largely invisible in that order of things. And, third, that her name is most fitting.

In John 4, Jesus comes across a woman from Samaria, an outcast of that day, as she was drawing water from a well. He decided to engage her, asking for a drink, which was a real surprise as she knew that he was far above her station. Learned men like Jesus did not speak with lowly women such as her. Fast forward through the dialogue and Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

The living water in Jesus’ telling is a love that is infinitely refreshing. While we can only offer smaller samples of that, those samples are life-affirming and a reflection of our design. How often do we engage strangers with the perfunctory “How are you?” without really meaning it? How often are people around us largely invisible as we go about our business? What if we regularly paused during the day at the checkout counter or in the restaurant just to smile, give good eye contact, and say more than a mere, “thank you?” What if each of us seeks to open our eyes to see people as God sees them? No one should be invisible. We are surrounded by Samaritans and we put them there each day. Jesus offers us a way to refresh with living water. Thank you, Photini, for that reminder.

 

community is happening!

We are all set to party tomorrow [Saturday]! It’s gonna be a great night and for those of you coming, we are so excited to see you! Check out the details below [we say deets cause we like to abbrev.] and get ready for this uncommon party…

 

the “deets” for saturday

Weather
As of now, it looks like we might see some light rain and a little bit of cold (well, San Diego cold). So dress accordingly! We have Templars Hall and the Gazebo to escape any potential rain, but if you want to hang out outside bring some blankets and chairs, too!

Parking
You can park anywhere at Old Poway Park EXCEPT The Old Hamburger Factory. Let’s be good neighbors and keep those spots open for their customers. There’s plenty of other parking. 🙂

Food & Beverage
We will have plenty of food and beverage for all with full potato bar and hors d’oeuvres. And we’ll even have some fun kid food available. We got the hook up with some Lost Abbey kegs, King’s Craft Coffee, and hot chocolate for the kids. But feel free to bring your own beverages!

Fun
There will be plenty of fun for all, including music, lawn games, and kid-tivities. But again, feel free to bring your own fun-ness.

Woohoo!
See you tomorrow! And if you’re like, “huh, what party?”, just click on the red button below and show up tomorrow to Old Poway Park!!

A Taste of Uncommon [community]
Saturday, March 3rd, 5PM, Old Poway Park

RSVP

You are loved and valued.
God Bless our uncommon [community]

 

 

Weekly Update 2-23-2018


agenda free [community]

-ryan james ross

High pressure sales turn away just as many people from church as they do at the used car lot. We weren’t meant to pawn God like a gently used sedan and push to ‘close the deal’ before the conversation ends. That’s an agenda.

Have you ever had that experience where a book, a conversation, and then later maybe a podcast, and then even later in the week, a verse or a sermon that all end up repeating the same thing to you? It’s like the universe has conspired to give you a message through disconnected sources. God often whispers to us that way. And in the last week or so, we at U[g] have been hearing ‘agenda-free community’ a lot.

What is it to gather with others and to share life and love without agenda?

It means we talk less and listen more. It means we share stories, and we laugh and we cry together. It means we love and connect and do life together without condition. Everyone is recognized as God’s masterpiece on a wild journey through life. We love others without demanding anything in return.

This is the table that Jesus sets over and over in the scriptures: the place of continual restoration, enduring communion, and unending fellowship. No one earns a spot there, and no one fails and finds themselves with their chair removed.

“When we who claim faith come to people without any agenda other than to receive people as they are and to love them as they desire to be loved, they rest in the safety of that, and they begin to be transformed without any prodding from us.”  – John Pavlovitz in A Bigger Table

The Spirit of God transforms people, not our witty words (no matter how witty we be).

“When God’s people go out without agenda we are open to see people as people, rather than as objects of ministry and to see the ways God might already be at work in their lives… In order to be open to what God reveals, we need to drop our agendas.”  – Markus Watson at Flourish San Diego

So let’s dive into some agenda-free Uncommon [community]!

We are designing a party — a table to be around and some bread to break and some music to move to. Check it out…

So… we’ve had some interesting experiences while planning this party…

A couple weeks ago we spent some time with someone from the city of Poway, we will call her Patricia. It was a funny exchange. See, we had to try to explain to Patricia that we wanted to rent a large space to throw a big party. She was confused. Patricia couldn’t quite understand who we were, why we knew so many people or what would possess us to want to throw a big party for the community. We are familiar with causing confusion for people. It’s one of our specialties. So we were undeterred and walked away with a reservation to throw a party for 100 people.

Yesterday we had to call Patricia back to tell her that we will be having more people than expected – apparently we know more people than we even thought – because we currently have 111 people registered to join us!

We are so excited for this event and it’s not too late to join or invite friends. In fact, we have a team of people who are working alongside us to ensure that this is an event you won’t want to miss.

And to facilitate your reservation needs we have an RSVP button conveniently located in this very post…

A Taste of Uncommon [community]
Saturday, March 3rd, 5PM, Old Poway Park

RSVP

our uncommon [dream]

It’s clear from the response to this event that people are hungry for opportunities to gather together for some Uncommon [community] and we have already begun planning ways to make this event pure goodness.

Our dream is to offer this event to our COMMUNITY as a gift from our Uncommon-ers (that’s US!).  That being said – we issued a challenge last week that if each person on our mailing list gave $20 we could cover the cost of the Taste of Community. Many of you responded and we’ve brought in over $500 so far! (THANK YOU!) If you haven’t yet, please consider giving (by clicking the convenient link below) to make sure this and future events are free to our community!

GIVE

[connection]

By the way… At the heart of what we are doing with uncommon [good] is connection. Connection with God and one another. We believe deep in our bones that some of the best connection happens around the table. And we aren’t the only ones who think this… Here’s a video promoting a growing movement that we think is pretty cool.

Check it out and get excited about March 3rd!

You are loved and valued.
God Bless our uncommon [community]

 

 

Weekly Update 2-8-2018

Jesus and Peppermint Joe Joe’s

– dawn neldon

We went camping over New years with several families and one night around the fire I brought out peppermint Joe-Joe’s (I know).  Mind you, I haven’t had a peppermint Joe-Joe in several years because, you know – gluten. So I was particularly excited about this experience because THIS year – Trader Joe’s introduced GLUTEN FREE peppermint Joe-Joe’s (so basically we’ve reached the pinnacle of human existence). I brought out my two boxes of Joe-Joe’s, one full gluten and one gluten free and proceeded to be the only person to enjoy the gluten-free version. Everyone made fun of me. I was undaunted – they tasted amazing! But then…then “they” [meaning everyone but me] decided it would be fun to do a taste comparison and things went downhill.

To the shock of no one, my gluten-free Joe-Joe’s paled in comparison to the real thing. My husband Drew basically spit it out. Moments before this experiment I had been happily pretending that my gluten-free experience was just like the real thing when suddenly it became clear that I was not having the same experience as everyone else. I was missing out. *sad face*

So we’ve been talking this week about what sparks us (in more profound ways than peppermint Joe-Joe’s). What gets that God-excited, heart-bursting, lift-in-our-chest when we think about this journey towards Uncommon [good]? For me, this question is always linked to what breaks my heart. I’m weird, I know.

But when I think about the things I get most excited about it always has to do with filling a need or fixing a problem that breaks my heart. Here’s what breaks my heart: Jesus came to offer this beautiful, full, abundant life (John 10:10). This is clear because he talks about this life and models how it’s lived throughout the scriptures. It’s full and vibrant and abundant.   And yet we read these scriptures, we know these stories and still choose to settle for scarcity and gray-scale living. It’s as if there is something real and full within our grasp but we just keep eating our gluten-free Joe-Joe’s pretending they taste just like the real thing.

I think this stems from a fundamental lack of understanding about the God that Jesus knows. I think we often picture God as a cosmic teetotaller carefully weighing out our every action and judging it as good or bad. This god is not creative or funny or vibrant. There’s nothing abundant about him. We’ve basically imagined God as the heavenly version of an IRS auditor who is watching to make sure we tow the line. And “the line” in our minds is no fun. It’s straight and narrow-ed and buttoned up. It’s sanitized and wholesome. It’s white bread. It’s gluten-free white bread.

And here’s the thing: If Jesus reveals God, not only through his teaching, but also his action – this seems wildly out of line with the God that He knew.

Consider this:

Jesus challenged the straight and narrow, buttoned up version of life that religion had been demanding of people. Instead, his actions flew in the face of this understanding of God and religion. He ate with and partied with and befriended all the wrong people. In doing so, Jesus reveals a God that is wildly in love with people. All people. Messy people. You and me people.

Jesus colored outside the lines of the religious assumptions. He pushed the boundaries and challenged the box-checking way of religion. Revealing to us that God is more interested in our love than our perfection. And showing us that life is about recklessly running after a God who freely offers GOOD things to us. Not solemnly, carefully navigating a balance beam of perfection trying to earn His love.

Jesus healed and fed, he made wine out of water and communities out of outcasts. He challenged our assumptions of scarcity and revealed the abundance of God.

John tells us that “In Him [Jesus] was life and that life was a light for all people.” (John 1:4-5)

To put it simply Jesus illuminated a life fully lived. Born out of his deep understanding of who God is; His life-light points the way towards a life that is abundant, wild, messy and full of grace. This is what I am passionate about. This is what I long for people to experience: the mess and beauty of a life truly lived.

 

 

A Taste of Community

Before we do buildings, programs, coffee, small groups, and everything else that will come, we are going to create moments that give us glimpses of our Uncommon future… and the ‘first look’ won’t look like a ‘church’ service.

Yes, we want to give you a taste of Uncommon [good] – and it looks like a party.

Jesus met with people in real life places. He modeled a life in which he most frequently met with people over food and drink. He reclined with them — shared meals with them — his first miracle even worked to keep a party going and kick it up a notch!

People who were nothing like Jesus liked Jesus, and they wanted to be with him.

He met with the saints and sinners all together (you choose your own label there), and He created a lot of parties along the way — so we’re going to do the same.

Saturday evening, March 3rd, we are going to have a party that will be our first gathering of those that God is gathering for Uncommon [good]! We will break bread together (as well as other foods), and we will experience the joy and energy of the community that God is lining up! The whole family is welcome, as well as any friends that you can invite that may be interested in a new thing that God is up to! So…

SAVE THE DATE
Saturday evening, March 3rd
A Taste of Uncommon [community]
More details coming soon…

 

Help Us Make It Awesome

We need you to help us BE the community that makes a party FOR the community.

So your invitation this week is to help make this event happen!

We want to offer this as a free event for all who want to come. If all the Uncommon [peeps] that are receiving this email pitched in just $20, that would cover the costs of making this party AWESOME! Click the button below to give towards this Uncommon [event]!

 

GIVE

 

Note: This button will take you to our general giving page. Any new gifts given this week will go towards this event.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

By the way! We had such an amazing Facebook launch this past weekend. Thank you so much for participating. Watch this video for a proper thank you!

 

You are loved and valued.
God Bless our uncommon [community]

Weekly Update 2-1-2018

Re-shaping God

– ryan james ross

In my reading of a great book this last week, The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith, I kept thinking of this pretty frightening question;

“Do I need to re-shape God?”

It sounds pretty arrogant on the front end for a human to think that they shape the God that made them, but for the most part, our concept of God is shaped far more by our world and the people around us than by what is actually written in scripture. Depending on one’s life journey and the stories about God they’ve received along the way, they may come up with all sorts of understandings about who God is and what God is like. Our concept of how God sees us and what He wants from us is shaped by a thousand different and often conflicting messages that we receive throughout our life. So what does God end up being shaped like? Usually a mix of culture, fallacies, crazy superstitions, and bible truths all mixed up together.

We end up with a ‘mess god’.

When Jesus showed up on the scene He began telling a lot of stories to reveal the character of God. His stories of God conflicted with their current concepts, and not everyone liked the picture of God he was painting. There were great misconceptions about God AND life that needed reshaping, and Jesus chose stories as His primary tool to fix things.

“We are shaped by our stories. In fact, our stories, once in place, determine much of our behavior without regard to their accuracy or helpfulness. Once these stories [about life, and love, and about who we are and who God is] are stored in our minds, they stay there largely unchallenged until we die. And here is the main point: These narratives are running (and often ruining) our lives. It is crucial to get the right stories.”

Were you ever told that “God helps those who help themselves”? It’s not in the Bible despite someone telling you it was a verse. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is also not in there no matter how many times your mom used it to get you to wash your hands.Yes, parental-bad-theological-leverage is real! Those are just a couple examples of fallacies that may damage your understanding of who God is. The largest fallacy amongst us is that you have to earn God’s love and favor. That God saves his love and grace for people who make an effort to be good… this narrative will mess you up, if it hasn’t already.

So how can we get the right concept of God?
We need new stories (and Jesus gave us some).

Here is the challenge that we at Uncommon [good] are going through together…

First, try to empty your mind of who you think God is (you can’t truly do this, but try it out just for the sake of learning here). Now, with an empty mind, read one of the gospels (or all four) and let Jesus shape your concept of God from scratch once again. Specifically, listen to his stories that teach about God’s character. What picture of God does he paint? Do you see a God of grace or a God of judgment? Do you see a God of love and forgiveness more than a God of anger and resentment? Does Jesus paint God with more hope, healing, or hell?

Try it.
Open the gospels once again.
And with a new eye…
let Jesus [God incarnate] reshape God for you.

 

 

We Have Big News!

We have decided to take the next step in our relationship.

You know what that means: this week Uncommon [good] is gonna be Facebook official!

While many of you already discovered our Instagram shennanigans, we haven’t truly made our Uncommon [good] presence known publicly…yet.

But that all changes TOMORROW (Friday if you’re slow to open your emails)!

Our hope is that our social media channels become a place that allows our Uncommon [community] to feel connected in the absence of a physical gathering space. We plan to share videos, devotionals, prayer requests as well as real time updates of the day-to-dayness of our Uncommon [journey]. More than that, we hope to create a space on Facebook and Instagram where everyone can join in our ongoing conversations about life and faith and citrus.

 

 

Sharing is Caring…

We are excited to take this goodness public, AND, we want to invite you to take part in our social media campaign! We will be pushing our Facebook page tomorrow (Friday, February 2nd) and we would love for our Uncommon [community] to share the love by liking our page and sharing it with your friends!

It’s a really simple and tangible way that we can ALL participate in the work of Uncommon [good] this week! We thank you in advance for your clicks, shares, comments, and contagiously-joyful banter : )

 

Like Us On Facebook

 

Like Us On Instagram

 

Like Us On Twitter

 

 

 

Weekly Update 1-26-2018

You ought to listen to some Gospel today…

This last week I had a friend with a birthday that didn’t want any happy birthday wishes.

Due to tragedy and loss in her family, she wasn’t exactly feeling like being flooded with happy wishes in a time when life felt anything but happy.

So she asked for something different.

In lieu of ‘happy birthdays’, my friend asked people to leave a note of a memory they had with her, or to just simply share what my friend meant to them. Messages came flooding in — all kinds of memories from friends and family about moments in their lives and lots of statements about who my friend was – kind, courageous, loyal, loving, and the list went on.

In a time of sadness, my friend wanted to be reminded of who she was and what she meant to others. My friend needed some Gospel.

Real Gospel (the good news about Jesus) gives us two gifts:

It shows us who God is and it reminds us of who we are.

Gospel says that we, despite our circumstances, feelings and imperfections, are lovingly and purposefully made by God, fully known by God and still loved deeply. The gospel is that we are so loved that Jesus gave up His life for us so that we can have life with Him — and know a life of forgiveness and freedom. Listening to a little gospel reminds us that we are children of God as we walk through days that are good, bad, or sometimes straight up ugly.

There is a common phrase in faithful circles that “we must preach the gospel to ourselves everyday”. What does that mean? Everyday we need to hear about how God sees us over how we or anyone else may see ourselves. We are loved. We are valuable. We are worth dying for. And the God of the universe did just that very thing for us so that we may have life.

Maybe you really needed to hear this today.

The gospel about God’s love and about who we are in His eyes changes us.
It will change every interaction we have throughout the day.

Try starting the morning with a little bit of that gospel in your ears.

 

 

You’re gonna love this…

Last week we invited you to join us on a journey of Spiritual formation – which is a fancy, (and perhaps intimidating) way of saying taking time to practice the things that Jesus taught.

Our Uncommon [team] is reading The Good and Beautiful God. which is a quick and practical guide through some great devotional thoughts. And it’s accompanied with practical things we can do every day to actually practice the things that Jesus taught!

Whether you’ve jumped in this week or not, we want to invite you to join in the first week’s practice with us – wait ’til you hear what it is – you will probably run out and buy the book immediately (can you even do that anymore? Are bookstores still a thing?)

Drum roll, please… The first spiritual practice is… REST! You didn’t read that wrong. REST is actually considered a spiritual practice (thank you sweet Jesus!) Did you ever consider that God (the all-powerful, world-sustaining-being) modeled resting! The same God that also designed our bodies to spend 1/3 of our lives asleep. Yet rest is the first thing we ignore when life gets busy. More than that – we often feel guilty or lazy for getting rest when the to do list is never ending!

But the truth is we can’t operate at our best, live life at our optimum, or focus on any other spiritual practices well if we are haggard and tired. So – here’s the challenge: spend time intentionally resting this week – it’s kind of like a choose your own adventure situation, so pick one of the following:

1. Choose one day this week and sleep until you can’t sleep anymore! Don’t feel bad about it either!

2. Get at least 7 hours of sleep for 3 days in a row. Set an alarm to get in bed not just one to wake yourself up!

3. Take a nap. Maybe you can’t sleep in (cause, hello! small children) and maybe your week is crazy and you simply can’t get 7 hours for multiple nights in a row. That’s okay! Find a window of time one afternoon and instead of doing the dishes, take a nap! WOOHOO for Spiritual Formation (#amiright?)

Let us know how this challenge goes or you! Chime in on our Instagram to share your adventures in REST.

You are loved and valued.
Worthy of the Savior giving His life for you, in fact!

God Bless our uncommon [community]

 

 

Four Quirky Friends Seeking Uncommon [space] For Cool Jesus Stuff…

We found ourselves peering into several buildings this last week — in the least creepy way possible, of course — We’re looking for the future space of Uncommon [good]!

Somewhere in Poway Unified School District we know that God has a place for us… we just have to identify it and move forward.

We need a large place with lots of parking and great outdoor space as well. The zoning has to be right for events and retail (ie. coffee, food, music, beverages, etc.) and more.

We’d love it to look like a beautiful barn – but we hold our ideas and dreams with open hands and plan for flexibility : ) Keep your eyes open with us!

We have began to build a team of architects, designers, and real estate friends that will make this Uncommon [space] a reality! Maybe you could be key to this team if you have experience in commercial real estate, building, LLC incorporation, etc. Is this you? CLICK HERE

If you’re not clear on what that vision is exactly, check out our website to get an idea of what we’re talking about.

When we’re not looking at buildings and meeting with development teams, we’re working everyday with Gateway Leadership Initiative. They help people like us make visions a reality and will take us from zero to the launch of a successful, long lasting ministry through support and in depth training. We have an overwhelming amount of good work to do with them every day – ranging from demographic studies, forming bylaws, 501(c)3 incorporation, and yes, even spiritual development so we keep Jesus at the forefront of everything in our planning!

This Uncommon [dream] is huge.

It’s God-sized for sure.

We encourage you to pray for Uncommon [good] and that God would use us ALL to bring it into being as we move forward into this new Spirit driven vision of ‘church’ in our community!