Good News Part 3: Fun and Fruit

Did you miss parts one and two? Here’s the links:

Good News: Part One

Good News: Part Two

-ryan james ross

Here’s the good news, part three…

“God sees us as we are, loves us as we are, and accepts us as we are. But by His grace, He does not leave us as we are.”

Hmm… So how are we changed by faith in Jesus?

Galatians is a short letter in the Bible that was written by a devoted follower of Jesus named Paul (likely the earliest letter written in the New Testament). He wrote this letter for the early Christian church in Galatia that was going through some major theological and political challenges as they asked, “how do we follow Jesus in today’s world?”

These first Christians were getting pressured to fall into the religious status quo of their time. They were told to follow religious laws, political stances, rituals, and expectations that were in place well before Jesus — and many of these things seemed to confine, restrict, limit, exclude, and even contradict what Jesus spoke about. They wondered, “how does a follower of Jesus navigate all of this? How do we behave?”

So, Paul wrote them this letter to encourage their faith, their freedom, and their [fruit].

Paul essentially says, “let me give you the mindset of living in faith. Here’s how I see it…

”The life I live in the body [Right now. In my city. Everyday.], I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). This mindset will do something to you.

What comes out of this faith is transformation of your life… yes, you’ll live different.

The letter explains that by faith Christ is living in you. Or in other words, the very Spirit of God is now walking with you (read Galatians chapter 5). This close walk with God in your life will begin to bring out the most beautiful things in humanity [fruit]:

“… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

The Good News of walking by faith in the Son of God who loves you and gave himself for you is this: you will become one who lives out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

That is not only good news to you, but to everyone around you and your edges as well : )

Happy Summer, friends!!!

Our dream is to summer with you… join us at the fun below.

And we’ve got some new details on our Summer events,
So be sure to read ahead!



[click the image for a larger version of the flier]

Wednesdays at Silverset Park

June 27th – August 15th, 4 PM
Drop by in the afternoon for some chill time at the park.

Mondays at Moonlight Beach

July 9th – August 13th, 9 AM – 1 PM
You gotta love a beach day. Bring the kiddos. We’ll have surf boards and fun-ness!

Taste of Summer [Community Event]

July 15th, 3 PM
This will be an awesome summer party, and there just miiiiighht be some slippin’ and slidin’ goin’ on… But no promises 😉 We will send out RSVP info in the next couple of weeks. But please, save the date!



You are loved.

You are valued.

You belong.


Good News Needs A Part 2

– ryan james ross


Last week’s “good news inspiration” began and closed with these words:

“You are welcome here. You are valued. You belong.”
That’s how Jesus made the outcast feel. In short, those phrases are another way to communicate that you are loved, and that’s the good news.

You are loved by God. Period.

Sit in that a bit. Jesus brought you that news, but it wasn’t his whole message [thank God].

So here’s part two of the good news:
Love doesn’t leave you as you are — it beckons you forward.

That image above was snapped just last week at a baseball game. That’s my son Colton running with all of his might and you can just feel that bundle of fun and joy that he is. I love of that kid with all of my being!!!

Here’s what you can’t see in that image though. Seconds before that photo he learned that sticks can hurt people and he had to say sorry to another kid that got whacked in a ‘sword fight’. Then, just after that picture, he was in tears because he wanted more candy and I had already allowed way too much — he would’ve definitely got sick with more sugar in that little body. See, I love him as he is — too much for words even — and because of that love, I can’t help teaching him more about life, keeping him from harm, and becoming the best version of himself.

Tim Keller explains the good news this way: “God sees us as we are, loves us as we are, and accepts us as we are. But by His grace, He does not leave us as we are.”

Love beckons you forward, and that’s what Jesus welcomes you into when he says, “follow me”.


What do you want to talk about
at the next Wine & Words?




[click the image for a larger version of the flier]

Are you ready for fun in the sun, and some uncommon community?
Check out what we have going on…

Wednesdays at Silverset Park

June 27th – August 15th, 4 PM
Drop by in the afternoon for some chill time at the park.

Mondays at Moonlight Beach

July 9th – August 13th, 9 AM – 1 PM
You gotta love a beach day. Bring the kiddos. We’ll have surf boards and fun-ness!

Taste of Community Event

July 15th, 4 PM
Save the date for this one. More deets to come!


Summer, here we come!


You are loved. You are valued. You belong.



Exclusive Truth / Inclusive Love

– dawn neldon

I wonder what the church looks like to those on the outside. Sometimes I think about this and it makes me sad. Because I think that from the outside the Church looks like a group of people clamoring to have the corner on Truth. And since it would seem that Truth can only exist in one corner – battles are waged to take ownership of that real estate.

I think that those outside the Church are confused when they hear about Jesus (who took a wildly inclusive stance on love and hospitality and community) and yet see His followers consumed with judging and correcting and defending their exclusive “rightness”.

Now don’t misunderstand me and think I’m denouncing exclusive truth. I’m not. But what if we’ve gotten it wrong? What if exclusive truth and inclusive love aren’t mutually exclusive concepts? Jesus preached both. Jesus lived both. What would the church look like to those on the outside if we figured out how to do the same?

We, the people of Uncommon [good], are committed to reclaiming truths about faith and Jesus and being human. Join us as we dive into this important conversation June 3rd at Wine and Words.

Know someone (or more than one) who needs to be there? Help us get the word out! Click on one of the graphics below to download and share on your social channels.

If you haven’t signed up – do that here…



wine & words

you have heard it said…

[reclaiming] truths about faith, Jesus, and being Human.
June 3rd, 6:30 PM


RSVP here and we’ll see you there!


small group pics

Last, small groups went great! Check out our Facebook album:

We had an awesome launch to our very first round of small groups. Community, faith, love… FUN! Tag yourself or your friends! 🙂

Posted by Uncommon Good on Thursday, May 24, 2018




Wine and Adventure


Seis de Mayo was AMAZING!!!

We’re so thankful that so many people came out to Lake Poway all for the purpose of enjoying fun and community! The mixture of tacos and Rumba Cha Cha was the perfect cocktail for a hot Sunday afternoon, right?

After the party, we were asked by our mentor (in classic mentor status) “What was the purpose for the event?” — It was initially scary – almost like your dad asking, “Now why did you think this was a good idea?” (after you did something).

But we recovered quickly because we knew our purpose (and our mentor shared our enthusiasm for it):

We wanted to create a space for people to experience joy in community. We wanted to create a moment in time where everyone felt that they belonged. We wanted to create a shared experience of people leaning into life – and we had a ridiculously good time in the process!

We pray that’s what all of you deeply felt… joy, belonging, and great community. We believe that was all a great gift from God!

STAY TUNED… A video of the goodness will be coming out in the near future!

You can check out some of what we captured on our Facebook page

In the mean time, read below because we are REALLY excited about small groups and our upcoming Wine&Words event, “You Have Heard It Said”…

Uncommon [small groups]

All of us are on a journey in our faith. Sometimes that journey feels like a grand adventure, and sometimes it feels like wandering in the wilderness. And what we’ve come to know is that – no matter where you find yourself on the journey – having people with you on the path makes all the difference. People who know you, love you, and can enter the adventure or the wandering with you. Read on to see what we will be covering…

For our first small group season, we will be going through a series called Starting Point from Andy Stanley discussing the “starting points” of faith.

Imagine that 😉

Here’s a little descriptor from their materials to get you excited:

Everything has a beginning. Every person, every idea, every journey starts somewhere. Whether it’s one small step in a new direction or a major event, from that point forward nothing is ever the same.

It’s not always comfortable. It’s not always easy. But it’s a start.

Excited yet?
Cause we are!

the schedule

Uncommon small groups are gonna be… uncommon. They will be on Wednesday nights (unless there’s a group that needs to meet on another night) and there is going to be a rhythm to the six weeks that will seem new to some. But we think it will especially allow families to get the most out of the content without breaking the bank with baby-sitters every week.

Check this sched…

May 23rd – Families all together

May 30th – Couples (you’ll need a sitter for this week)

June 6th – Just the Dudes

June 13th – Just the Gals

June 20th – Couples (will need sitter)

June 27th – Families all together/Wednesdays at the Park launch

Cool huh? You’ll see more about this in the coming weeks. But if you’re interested in small groups, NOW is the time to sign up. Just clickety-click the button below to sign up!



wine & words

We’re so excited to invite you to the next adventure with uncommon [good]… A night of wine & words called:

you have heard it said…
[reclaiming] truths about faith, Jesus, and being Human.
June 3rd, 6:30 PM

Often, Jesus said things like, “you have heard it said… but I tell you…”, right before He turned a commonly held idea upside down.

Faith. Community. Religion. Spirituality. Worship. Church.

For many of us, these words come loaded with certain ideas and maybe even some baggage. In some ways, these words and ideas have lost their true meaning.

We think it’s time to reclaim them…

So let’s have a convesation together. And since everything is better with wine and charcuterie, let’s do it at Espinosa Winery.

RSVP here and we’ll see you there!



You are loved and valued!

Your uncommon [team]



Fun is Fun

– dawn neldon

So… we’re gonna talk about fun. And just for fun, let’s play a game: See how many times we can say fun in one post…

We expect a reply. 😉

Now… When was the last time you stopped to just watch a kid? Like, really put down your phone or your newspaper and watched how children exist in this world? While there certainly are some less than desirable characteristics that have yet to be worked out of our children, I am always struck by one thing they possess that sadly seems to have been worked out of most adults: They value FUN. Kids will go out of their way to do something simply because it’s fun. They will jump for no reason. They will skip instead of walk. They hop over cracks on a normally mundane walk. They will be silly because they haven’t been told it’s improper yet. They know something that I fear many adults have forgotten: fun is FUN! I’ve never had to convince a kid that fun is valuable – for them it’s an obviously.

Adults on the other hand…

Here’s what I know about a lot of adults – we don’t value fun. We have outgrown fun. We don’t have time or energy for fun (I mean honestly, when was the last time you jumped up and down for no reason? When was the last time you skipped anywhere?). Many of us adults think that fun is frivolous. An unnecessary waste of time that would be better spent on being productive.

However, if you are on this Uncommon journey with us, there’s something we need to confess to you – we value Fun. And not just a little bit – like as a side dish to the main course of serious business. We actually believe that fun is central, and important, and life giving, and necessary. We have a Theology of Fun — We believe that fun unleashes something that God designed and that the world has tried to strangle out of us over the last however many decades. We believe that kids have something to teach us in the fun department about how life is meant to be lived!

Now, I want to stop and acknowledge that many of you, even right now, are having a physiological response to this notion – that fun is divinely valuable. There may be some that are rolling their eyes or crossing their arms or thinking us to be rather simple or naive or immature for valuing fun so much as to write about it. That’s okay. We don’t mind. In fact I’m gonna get on my fun soapbox and give you a little what-for:

See here’s what I actually think happened to us buttoned up, too busy, too put together adults – life got hard. I mean, we were created to live this expansive life – it’s what our hearts long for! Big, expansive abundant LIFE. But along the way we got too busy or too worried about fitting in to pay attention to things like LIFE. Productivity and peer-pressure became paramount. And instead of leaning into life and having space for fun, we decided it was safer (and more responsible) to muddle through it with our heads down and feet forward. Fun became a luxury that our schedules, and honestly our self-esteem, couldn’t afford. Somewhere on our journey we decided to sit on the sidelines and watch other people lean in to life – inwardly longing that it could be us, but lacking the courage or the energy to get up and join the party. Until finally one day we decided “Who needs fun anyway? Certainly not me!”

There’s a childlikeness that was in you from the start… a fingerprint from God.

There was a time in our lives when we lived life with abandon – unhindered by the difficulties of this world – we leaned in to life and as a result, we fully lived. But over time we stopped skipping. We stopped leaning. We stopped living fully alive.

That needs to stop.

Because if we devalue something long enough, we condition ourselves into not caring about it anymore – leaving it neglected like a part of our engine that we stopped maintaining. However, a Theology of Fun holds out the truth that fun is actually an essential part. And without it in our life, we aren’t firing on all cylinders. We aren’t allowing our “car” to be all that is car. (Now that’s a fun sentence to repeat).

We get this one life and God didn’t make us to muddle through when we could choose to lean in! FUN is the thing that shakes us from our muddling and challenges us to live into the bigness that we were created for. It moves us past our worries and our busyness, it connects us with others in joy, and fun helps us engage in life the way we were meant to live it!

Our hope is that on May 6th you will experience a taste of this fun! That you will watch people exhale and laugh and be silly. And perhaps, as a result, you will accept the invitation to lean into life just a bit more!


join the fun

So maybe you’ve heard by now – but something big is happening this Sunday…That’s right – Seis de Mayo!! As we like to say: why celebrate existing holidays when you can invent your own? Seis felt neglected in the grand shadow of Cinco. So, we’re here to help.


This taste of life and community is at Lake Poway, SUNDAY from 3:30 – 6:30pm. We will have delicious tacos, spicy music, drinks, kid crafts and special surprises that – when blended together – equal an awesomely good time! If you’re thinking in your brain about coming but haven’t registered – commit already! Click the RSVP button and let us know you’re joining the fun!



We’re talking fun for the whole family – even your dog!
(but we draw the line at cats).

Already coming? We need your help then…

Think about who in your life needs to be a part of Uncommonly [good] community and entice them with free tacos and drinks (if that fails, drag them there by force if necessary.)

And here’s a fancy way to invite them…

Click the button or image below to download an invite graphic that you can share with a friend. Text it, email it, post it… whatever works for you!

Invite a Friend


👇 or just save this image and share👇


make the fun

We absolutely love that our Uncommon [community] makes these parties happen! In March you all rallied to completely cover the cost of our first taste of community event! And it’s not too late to give to Seis de Mayo.

If everyone on our mailing list contributed $20 we would cover the cost and keep this event free for people who need to connect with our community! If you want to contribute to Uncommon [good] click the button below…

Help Make Seis Free


one last thing

and this is a good one…

We are SUPER excited to announce that we’ll be having a short small group session running from May – June. Groups will kick off the week of May 21st talking through Andy Stanley’s “Starting Point” series. Which is all about discovering where faith (of any kind) begins in life.

So, whether you are curious, committed, or have questions about faith, this series will be an awesome opportunity for learning. And just as importantly, it will allow us to gather and connect regularly with other people in our Uncommon [community].

There will be a small group sign up table at the Seis de Mayo Party, but if you want to get a head start, click the button below to fill out the small group interest form.

Small Groups Form



So… How many “fun’s” did you find?
Reply with your count.
Just for fun! 😉


You are loved and valued!

Your uncommon [team]



Chasing Mice

the chase

– brad lichtman

Let’s start with a hat tip to Cody.
He, after all was the inspiration for this inspiration.

This last week, Cody shared about an unwanted adventure… Now, imagine an exhausted but determined 30 something dad of 2 chasing a mouse around at 1AM while trying desperately not wake his family. It’s funny on so many levels! And it got me thinking about the nature of both mice and chasing.

When I got over laughing at the image of Cody’s nocturnal hunting adventure, I couldn’t help but think about how this image captures the way we often live our lives: chasing after all sorts of things. Even desperately. Often in a kind of semi-darkened, half-asleep state. All the while wondering why the dang things are so hard to nail down.

We see this even in our spiritual lives. As the world looks to the Church to discover what it means to be followers of Jesus – we often find Christians spending a whole lot of time and energy chasing relatively small distinctions around in the dark. Wouldn’t it be better if we brought things into the light of day and asked what we’re really supposed to be chasing?

This reminds me of Dawn and her refrain that we should always major on the majors.

When you get down to it, there are only two things to chase after – if chasing is even the right word. And they are really just two sides of the same coin: Love God and love others… with everything we have. Now, this is really hard to do. Which may explain why so many of us ignore them and choose to go chasing after all the little things. We become so consumed by all the things that matter very little that we miss the BIG things God is calling us to.

What if we just stopped chasing?

What if we just freely admitted that loving God and others with all we have is near impossible? What if we admitted that we need help? What if we finally realized that the help we need is the exact thing that Jesus wants to offer us. What if we realized that this was only possible through relationship with Him – not through religion? What if we received that help and for once just saturated ourselves in the truth that Jesus wants to be in a relationship with us – messy, broken and exactly as we are?

Okay – now take a breath cause that’s a lot of “what-if’s” But I have one more (and this is sort of the crux of the matter):

What if we really choose to love people – family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers – the way that Jesus loves us: messy, beautiful, broken and exactly as we are? If we major on love, this crazy thing might actually happen. We might actually begin to be people who point others towards true community – towards true belonging.

May we the people of Uncommon [good] set about this kind of work, trying to major on the majors, seeking conversations about what that’s all about. That’s exciting, to say the least! And we look forward to joining with you on the journey.

the party

At Uncommon [good] we believe in the sacrament of PARTY. Because sometimes Jesus taught people, and sometimes… he brought the wine and had a party.

Many of you got a taste of this Uncommon [community] back in March and we can’t wait to gather everyone again for Seis De Mayo – this time at Lake Poway! There’s gonna be a taco bar, general shenanigans, uncommon merch, and the musical stylings to Rhumba Cha Cha! This will be a fun party, friends!

So once again we are asking our Uncommon [community] to make this party happen for all those in search of community – in search of belonging – in search of life!

Recently, we were humbled to have someone cover the cost of the food for this event!! That’s so huge!

But there’s still more costs and we’d love your help to cover them.

If everyone reading this would contribute at least $20 we would cover the cost of Seis de Mayo for all those who are going to show up for the fun.

Will you be a part of this with us? Click the button below to contribute.

And start thinking about who you want to invite!

Help Make It Happen


And don’t forget to RSVP!

Just cha cha on over to our eventbrite page and sign up…



You are loved and valued!

your uncommon [team]



Courage and Party

the courage

– dawn neldon

I’ve recently been ruminating on adventure and courage. Partly because I think about adventure a lot and partly because a team of us went to Catalyst West last week where we heard the best in the biz speak for two days on being “Of Good Courage.”

I believe that each of us are born with a sense of adventure and a desire to live our most courageous lives. We dare to believe this audacious dream that although we are the most regular of regulars (in fact the most unimaginably messy, regulars) we could actually do something great. Something bigger than the sum of our parts.

And while that dream lives deep in the chest of each one of us we have for one reason or another allowed life to convince us that this is impossible or reckless or at the very least improbable. We’ve come to believe that it would be easier and more certain to settle for safe and careful and as a result we have given up on our dreams of adventure and courage.

But we at Uncommon [good] say no. We echo the author of Hebrews when he declared “We do not belong to a people who shrink back and are destroyed but to those who have faith and are saved” (Hebrews 10:39). We belong to a people of good courage.

Fear whispers to us that we aren’t enough, that we’ll probably fail, that there are others better and more qualified for the adventure ahead. And you know what fear can be real persistent, can’t it? So persistent in fact that we can begin to believe that fear is right.

And here’s what you need to know today: courage is not living life without fear. I think that some of us look at those who act courageously and assume that they have it easier. That they have it together. That they have some quality we’re lacking. That they don’t struggle with the hiss of fear. The one that tells you that you won’t make it and you’re not enough. But it’s not true.

Some of you need to hear this today: courage is living in spite of fear. It’s staring fear in the face and saying, “you are a liar and you will not defeat me.” It’s leaning forward into life determined to follow the adventure that God has laid out. Don’t you see? The only failure here is missing the opportunity to lean fully in to what God is calling you towards.

So lean forward, stumbling and unbalanced as it may feel at first. Because we belong to a people who are of Good Courage. We will not shrink back. And the victory will not be because we are amazing and unstoppable but because we serve an amazing unstoppable God.

And if you want some more inspiration on the topic of courage, check out our very own Brad Lichtman’s reflection on his blog:

Brad On Courage


the party

We are beyond excited to invite you to our upcoming Taste of Community – Seis de Mayo [that’s 6th of may for you non-spanish speakers]. At Uncommon [good] we believe in the sacrament of PARTY. We believe that sometimes Jesus taught people and sometimes he brought the wine and had a party.

Many of you got a taste of this Uncommon [community] back in march and we can’t wait to gather everyone again – this time at Lake Poway! We will have a taco bar, general shenanigans and the musical stylings to Rhumba Cha Cha!

We the people of Uncommon [good] want to be known for throwing great parties in our communities. We want to be known as a place that is having so much fun – a place so filled with life that regardless what you believe – you want to be a part of what’s happening!

So once again we are asking our Uncommon [community] to make this party happen for our community! Which means you get to invite your friends to an amazing, [free] party being thrown in their honor!

In march we had 200 people show up in the rain to experience the sacrament of Uncommon [party]. This time we are anticipating even more! If everyone reading this would contribute at least $20 we would cover the cost of Seis de Mayo for all those who are going to show up in search of community – in search of belonging – in search of life! Will you be a part of this with us? Click the button below to contribute.

And start thinking about who you want to invite!

Help Make It Happen


And don’t forget to RSVP!

Just cha cha on over to our eventbrite page and sign up…



oh, and heads up…

You may have seen our email last week about our teaching event,
You Have Heard It Said.

Well, we have moved this event to June 3rd!

We hope you can make it to this AND Seis De Mayo! 🙂

you have heard it said
[reclaiming] truths about faith, Jesus, and being human.
Sunday, June 3rd @ 6:30 PM, Espinosa Winery
$20/person, wine and appetizers included.

Click the button to RSVP and see all the deets of the event!



You are loved and valued!

your uncommon [team]



Tribe and Invitation

the tribe

– ryan james ross

Ragnar is a race from Los Angeles to San Diego. Thousands of people from all over the states gathered this last weekend to run this race, and yes, this should alert you to the alarming fact that crazy people exist all around us.

200-ish miles in 29 hours.

That’s averaging less than 9 minutes a mile without any breaks. Even overnight.

Most of us can’t even run one mile in less than 9 minutes, let alone 200 miles!

This is an impossible race for even the best runners in the world to complete… alone that is.

However, as a team working in relay, hundreds of people accomplish this amazing race together.

I still think they’re crazy, but sometimes we do crazy things for our tribe. Team Camille (in the image above) rocked this race, all for the sake of Camille Richards. See Camille has Rett Syndrome and they run to raise awareness and support to find the cure for Rett Syndrome. They run for her in the hopes that one day she will run with them.

They run out of love and hope for Camille.

They run together in order to accomplish what no one person can do on their own.

[Check out the Team Camille Page to learn more and join the movement.]

This is actually what we are made for. We are made to run through life with people who help us accomplish what we could never accomplish on our own. We are made to run through life with people who carry the things of life that are too heavy for us ever to carry alone. We are made for tribe and Team Camille and all the people that support them are a tribe.

My experience this last week with Ragnar and being at an amazing conference with the Uncommon [good] team this week, reminded me of some incredible words from Erwin McManus in his book, The Last Arrow. I pray these words spark your heart and open your eyes to how God has designed us to be in community (aka Brine : )…


“There is no journey toward God that does not bring us to each other.”

You might begin your journey alone, but the place where God is taking you is a land called Together. If you have ever felt that you are living beneath your potential or that the greatness God has placed within you is yet to be realized, then I would tell you that the most common cause of living beneath our capacity is that we have chosen to run alone rather than walk together. You will never sustain greatness or fulfill your God-given calling if you see people as an obstacle to your destiny rather than as essential to fulfilling God’s purpose in your life.

Here are two big questions that will shape your life:
Who is with you? And who are you with?

Whatever you do, you need to find your tribe. If you are a zebra, find the zebras and run with them. If you are a gazelle, then find the herd that runs at your pace. If you are a lion, find your pride. Finding your tribe is not about being of the same color or same ethnicity or same history; it’s about being of one heart and mind. So whatever you do, find your tribe and begin to walk together. Your best future is waiting in your deepest relationships.

When you surround yourself with great people, it elevates who you are. If you want to have great character, surround yourself with people of great character. If you want to take great risks, surround yourself with a tribe of risk takers. If you want to live a life of adventure, then choose a tribe that makes life an adventure.

You will become who you walk with. So imagine the implications if you decide to walk with Jesus. When He calls you, He never calls you only to yourself. He always calls you to a people. He always calls us to each other.

This is a principle that will hold true for all of us at any time in our lives: we are more powerful when we walk together, and we are more vulnerable when we walk alone.

It’s essential — above everything else you pursue in your life, whatever else you may desire or long for, whether it’s success or wealth or fame or legacy — to make sure that nothing in your life is of greater value than finding your tribe. You need to find your people, because as long as you walk alone, you will never know your strength. Your greatest strength is not when you can prove that you don’t need anyone; your greatest strength is when you no longer have to prove that you can do it alone.

To live the life God created you to live, and to ensure that everything within you is unleashed for the good of humanity, you need to find your people.


All of what Erwin wrote, all of what Team Camille lived out, is all of what we pray Uncommon [good] continues to be in our city. I love this tribe that God is bringing together!

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.”  Ephesians 4:3-4


the invitation

On Sunday, May 6th @ 3:30 PM we will be having our second taste of community event. Woohoo!

We’re calling it [seis] de mayo, cause we’re clever like that…

We’ll have a taco bar, churros, a Latin Trio band called Rhumba Cha Cha, and tons more fun!

And if you’re lucky, you might just win an uncommon [good] poncho…

This fiesta will be muy caliente! You won’t want to miss it.

Oh, and please invite some friends to this taste of uncommon [community]!



You are loved and valued!

– Your uncommon [team] from the #CatalystWest Conference



Pickles and Community

the pickles

For those that dislike pickles, please read the following with an open mind

– ryan james ross

Our Uncommon [good] team sat down this last week to share some of our favorite sections from a book we’ve been reading together — The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith.

With coffee and books in hand, we went around the room and shared deep things about balancing time, family, and our spiritual lives. We talked about how to remain connected with God and loved ones when busyness seems to rule our days. We shared about the real struggle of trying to slow down and create space to be with God amidst screaming kids and trying not to just fall asleep when you actually create a quiet time and place.

It was such a good conversation.

But then, Cody shared.

“You guys, (dramatic pause for gravitas), I have to share the most impacting sentence in this whole book with you.”  Glasses on, book open to the magic page, he looked at us and then began to read very slowly and clearly…

“To make a pickle we first need to get a cucumber. Then we need to create the brine and vinegar solution for soaking the cucumber.”

Yeah, that was it. And no, he wasn’t joking because I think each one of us awkwardly waited a moment to see if he was going to smirk and laugh about his dramatic pickle reading, but he was serious.

Cody then explained his epiphany, and it wasn’t about the pickle.

“See, we need to create the brine we soak in.”

“We need to create the environment and the community that transforms us.”

Here’s where some more context will help Cody’s meaningful point.

The book was talking about what gets someone to actually be transformed by their time with God in scripture, prayer, reading, or even walking out in nature. What does it actually take to grow as a follower of Jesus? We know it takes more than a disciplined 10 minute reading a day or a routine (albeit rushed) prayer. The book was liking real spiritual transformation to the journey of cucumber to pickle.

“Making pickles is an apt analogy to the way we grow as disciples. To make a pickle we first need to get a cucumber. Then we need to create the brine and vinegar solution for soaking the cucumber. If we dip the cucumber in the solution and quickly remove it, all we have is a baptized cucumber. In order for it to become a pickle, it needs to soak in the brine for six weeks or so. Slowly, imperceptibly, the solution works its way into the cucumber, changing it to a pickle.”

The environment and the community that we soak in transforms us over time.

It is good – no… vitally important to life – to pause and ask what kind of brine we’re soaking in.

What do we read? Who do we spend our time with? What do we listen to and watch?

The way we fill our quickly passing days shapes the long journey of our lives.

The spiritual journey takes time in [good] brine. Change is not fast; it’s years of good input and good environment that grows us over time. It’s years of time with God in scripture, reflection and prayer that morphs us into the best version of ourselves that He created us to be. It’s being in good community that aims to walk together to live out love and faith… even amidst the busy days, hyper kids, dirty dishes, and future dreams. We are powerfully shaped by those we do life with. It is good to walk with those you’d like to become like – there are many passages in scripture that share this important message about community [brine].

So, this week, no matter how busy things are…

assess and perhaps re-create the solution you’re soaking your life in…

because we’re all becoming something,

and clearly, there are worse things than becoming a fabulous pickle.

[Pickle haters – thanks for hanging in there.]


save the date

On Sunday, May 6th @ 3:30 PM we will be having our second taste of community event at the Lake Poway Pavilion.

We’re calling it: [seis] de mayo, cause we’re clever like that…and everything was already booked for cinco de mayo, so we improvised. 😉

Taco bar. Churros. A Latin Trio band called Rhumba Cha Cha! 

And if you’re lucky, you might just win an uncommon [good] poncho…

In the coming weeks, we’ll open up registration and share more details so keep an eye out.

In the mean time, save the date and keep thinking about who you want to invite to experience a taste of uncommon [community]!


You are loved and valued!



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!