Life is Hard, But…

Cody James Vermillion

Yep. Life is hard sometimes.
Can I get an amen?

I am sure most of you reading this have gone through some hard things in life. It’s kind of the human experience, right? We come into this life screaming. Every minor discomfort is a painful reminder that we are no longer in the warmth and tranquility of the womb.

As we get older, we find that some things are harder than others. Some experiences are more painful. Some tasks are more challenging. And worse, we see others having an easy go at the things that give us the most trouble (spoiler alert: it’s hard for them too). Which seems to make things feel even harder. Thankfully, that’s not always the case. But in a culture that celebrates the “hustle”, it sure seems like we spend a lot of our lives struggling to keep up.

I personally feel that lately. Everything from getting the kids to school on time to sending that lingering email reply feels like a slog. What’s weirder though… even the good things (and there’s tons of good things) feel like a lot of work for some reason. In the words of Coldplay “nobody said it would be easy…” So yeah… life is hard sometimes.

BUT…

There’s one thing that is easy. One thing that is light. One thing that isn’t a burden or a weight on our shoulders. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Rest. For. Your. Souls… Doesn’t that sound nice?

At Uncommon [good], we talk a lot about the Good News of Jesus not being particularly good if it has no impact on our lives here and now. These words from Jesus are a reminder that this life doesn’t have to be a burden or a weight on our shoulders. That there’s someone who carries it for us. That there’s rest for the weary and grace for the burdened. A grace that requires nothing of you. Now, that’s good news…

So I think it’s time we all accept the grace Jesus offers. Really embrace it. Claim it as your own. Because it is the gift that He gives us… A life that isn’t plagued by guilt, shame, or feelings of inadequacy. No, Jesus doesn’t come with a list of to do’s. He doesn’t offer a life of striving for perfection. He offers a life of resting with Him.

Don’t get me wrong, He doesn’t promise that life will be easy. This isn’t about deluding ourselves into thinking that everything is puppies and rainbows. We are grown ups, after all. There will still be challenges to face and work to be done. Accepting grace doesn’t mean you stop trying. It simply gives you the freedom to stop feeling like you don’t measure up. Grace gives us a reprieve from the weight and expectations of perfection. So that even when things are hard, we can rest with Him knowing that we are just as loved, just as valued, and that no matter what, we always belong at His table.

New Family

– Ryan Ross

We’ve been having such a good time at our Common [table] Pop Ups!

At our first one, what we thought would be about 12, soon became a party of 20 with so much great food and desserts that we could’ve fed an army. Great community is like that… you can’t just cap things off at small numbers sometimes. People are on your heart, and you just have to invite them to the table!

While the kids ran amuck and were literally swinging from trees (until Ryan’s great weight broke the rope ;)… we all talked around one question for the night: 

“What in your life right now brings you the most joy?”

The conversation was fun, rich, and eye opening. We learned so much about one another. The overall report from dinner was that it all just felt like one big loving family.

I love that – we created [new family] – and that’s the business of Jesus.

There were a lot of boundaries to blessing and inclusion in the days of Jesus. Blood lines were strong and distinct, and many believed that God’s presence and blessing were only for the right family trees with just the right heritage.

Jesus messed that up. He seemed to live with a blind eye to bloodlines and boundaries. Jesus stretched family beyond it’s natural state because he had a new social order in mind that transcended the idea that family only loves their own [and that God only loved certain families]. He turned unrelated groups of strangers into family. He said all are valuable and welcome to be a part of God’s family. Jesus included the least and the greatest all in one family. And it was through this [new family of faith] that God’s kingdom broke into the world.

Our dream is to keep doing this. To keep making space to expand the family and welcome everyone in. Everyone, no matter where they are with faith, can take part in great discussions about what brings joy in life while they enjoy food, drink, and the crazy sounds of children together. Let’s keep doing this, and thank you for being a part of our Uncommon [family].

Keep reading for more opportunities to be a part of great gatherings!

March and [tables]

March is all about connecting in community! And we believe God made us for this! In addition to our “Created to Commune” event on March 24th, we are excited to tell you about some mini “pop-up” events – including guy/gal gatherings – happening in March that are aimed at helping us all connect and continue to build this Uncommon [community].

Common Table Pop-Ups
These events are super simple: Gatherings at homes or other cool places focused on being with one another. Some will be family nights, some guy’s nights, some gal’s nights. Keep an eye on social media (be sure to follow us) to see when these pop ups with be. The first 12 (ish) people to RSVP in the comments will get a spot.

Coffee Hangs
Monday & Wednesday Mornings, 10 – 11AM
Ryan, Pam, Dawn, and Cody will be meeting at various coffee shops in the Poway/RB area on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Come hang with us! Laugh with us. Ask us questions. Get excited about uncommon [goodness]! Keep an eye on social media for where we will be those days.


And that leads us to…

Created to [commune]…

Sunday, March 24th, Bernardo Winery, FREE

It’s time to rediscover the meaning of communion all together. No matter your past experience, communion was always meant to be a table where all are included.

RSVP to Commune

Uncommon [cast]

As we work to find a regular space, our Podcast offers a consistent venue to engage with conversations about life, faith, and being human.

Find it on Apple, Google Play, Spotify… by searching “uncommon cast”. 

Listen to Uncommon Cast

You are loved

You are valued

You belong

// Dividing // Lines //

So we know walls are kind of a touchy subject right now… But we’ve never been known to shy away from difficult conversations. So here it goes… 😉

A couple of weeks ago, our team took a trip down to Tijuana to meet with Pastor Fito Gonzalez and his amazing wife, Cindy. They are doing some really cool stuff with their church down there and are hoping to do some uncommon good-like community building. It was awesome to spend time with kindred spirits who want to meet people where they are!

While we were down there, we also got to visit Friendship Park. Which is a park right at the border that acts as a symbol of binational friendship between the US and Mexico. Once a year, Children and adults from pre-selected families who are divided by the border are allowed to meet and embrace briefly. It was a surreal experience being there… knowing that it was a place that represented moments of extreme joy and deep sorrow. And that right on the other side of where we stood, was a very different world.

No matter what you think of walls, life near the border isn’t at all how it’s portrayed on the news. The cities and towns at the border are full of people, just like you and me, who are trying to live their lives. Provide for their families. Find happiness… And although there is a very clear dividing line, we have more in common with the people on the other side of the wall than not. 

Whether we put up physical, emotional, or even digital walls… dividing lines tend to put people who are different than us in the category of “other”. But when we remove those lines, we are able to find the humanity in the “other”. And eventually see how much we are actually the same.

Jesus did this. It is how He lived His life and ministry. All were welcomed at the table with Him. Even the most reviled of His day. He created community for those who had none. And even the stories and parables He told exemplified His immense love and grace towards the outcast, the unloved, the other. 

So this week, we’d like you to check out what Jesus, Paul, and our team has to say on the subject of dividing lines:

First, read Ephesians 2:14-18

“14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near.18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”


In a time when Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) couldn’t have been more separate, Jesus broke down the cultural and spiritual walls between the two and made them one people under Him. And now today, we are invited to do the same: take down the walls that we’ve put up in front of people who look, behave, or even believe differently than us… recognizing that Jesus Himself has already removed those walls, which in turn allows us to see “the other” as one with us under a God who loves and welcomes all. 


Here’s another passage we reference our latest Podcast episode. Dividing Lines. Its a great story from Jesus called The Parable of the Pharisee & Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14

Now go listen to our Latest Podcast Episode – Dividing Lines


We love you all! You are welcome at our table. And speaking of that, here’s how you can get around a table with your uncommon [community] in March…

March and [tables]

March is all about connecting in community! And we believe God made us for this! In addition to our “Created to Commune” event on March 24th, we are excited to tell you about some mini “pop-up” events – including guy/gal gatherings – happening in March that are aimed at helping us all connect and continue to build this Uncommon [community].

Common Table Pop-Ups
These events are super simple: Gatherings at homes or other cool places focused on being with one another. Some will be family nights, some guy’s nights, some gal’s nights. Keep an eye on social media (be sure to follow us) to see when these pop ups with be. The first 12 (ish) people to RSVP in the comments will get a spot.

Coffee Hangs
Monday & Wednesday Mornings, 10 – 11AM
Ryan, Pam, Dawn, and Cody will be meeting at various coffee shops in the Poway/RB area on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Come hang with us! Laugh with us. Ask us questions. Get excited about uncommon [goodness]! Keep an eye on social media for where we will be those days.


And that leads us to…

Created to [commune]…

Sunday, March 24th, Bernardo Winery, FREE

It’s time to rediscover the meaning of communion all together. No matter your past experience, communion was always meant to be a table where all are included.

RSVP to Commune

Uncommon [cast]

As we work to find a regular space, our Podcast offers a consistent venue to engage with conversations about life, faith, and being human.

As we mentioned above, our latest episode, Dividing Lines is up and we’d love if you gave it a listen. 

Find it on Apple, Google Play, Spotify… by searching “uncommon cast”. 

Listen to Uncommon Cast

You are loved

You are valued

You belong

Tables and Communion 🍷🍞

March [At the Table]

We are EXCITED!

March is all about connecting in community! And we believe God made us for this! In addition to our “Created to Commune” event on March 24th, we are excited to tell you about some mini “pop-up” events – including guy/gal gatherings – happening in March that are aimed at helping us all connect and continue to build this Uncommon [community].

Here’s what’s coming up…

Common Table Pop-Ups
These events are super simple: Gatherings at homes focused on being with one another around tables (or fire pits). Some will be family nights, some guy’s nights, some gal’s nights. Our first one is a family night and will be on March 9th at the Ross casa. If you’re interested, email us to RSVP. The first 12 (ish) RSVPs will get a spot. Woohoo!

RSVP to March 9th

The next Pop-Ups will pop up on social media soon (so be sure to follow us). Again, the first 12 (ish) people to RSVP in the comments will get a spot.

Coffee Hangs
Monday & Wednesday Mornings, 10 – 11AM
Ryan, Pam, Dawn, and Cody will be meeting at various coffee shops in the Poway/RB area on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Come hang with us! Laugh with us. Ask us questions. Get excited about uncommon [goodness]! Keep an eye on social media for where we will be those days.

And that leads us to…

CREATED TO COMMUNE

Sunday, March 24th, Bernardo Winery, FREE

It’s time to rediscover the meaning of communion all together. No matter your past experience, communion was always meant to be a table where all are included.

So let’s get around tables and do what we were created to do: Be in community. There will be food provided and drinks available to purchase. Kids welcome (there’s plenty of room for them to run amuck).

RSVP to let us know you will be there…

RSVP to Commune

PODCAST

As we build our vision toward having a regular space, our Podcast offers you a consistent venue to engage with conversations about life, faith and being human. 

We will have a new episode out next week, but our latest episode “Idenity and Kombucha” is up and ready for your ears! In this episode, we wrap up our conversation about weirdness with the weird guru himself, CJ Casciotta. CJ’s book, Get Weird, made a big impression on us. We talk a little about that, as well as hear some nuggets from the event we hosted with him, and he tells us all about his new venture, Ringbeller. 

Find it on Apple, Google Play, Spotify… by searching “uncommon cast”. 

Listen to Uncommon Cast

You are loved
You are valued
You belong

Why Weirdness? 🤷‍♂️

So… We’ve been talking a lot about weirdness. In some ways it’s to get you excited to come to Wine, Words, and Weirdness on February 10th. We have no shame in admitting that! But also because at Uncommon [good], weirdness is one of our unspoken values. 

Aside from everyone on our team being a little weird, what we are doing is inherently weird [or, ya know, uncommon]… Having parties at parks to build community… talking about faith at wineries and breweries… all pretty weird indeed. In fact, we get told that pretty often. But we don’t mind. Because in order to do great things, you just might have to be a little bit weird.

And that’s why we are excited to have CJ Casciotta come talk with us. He’s all about weirdness. Because he believes weirdness changes things. Weirdness starts movements. And your weirdness is needed in the world. Each of us has been given unique qualities that make us who we are. CJ calls it the Sacred Weird. Now, if the word weird doesn’t do it for you, just think of it as the driving force that helps you bring your unique goodness to the world.

But enough from us… Let’s hear what CJ has to say about it…

“We need weirdness to keep the world moving, to help solve it’s problems, to change our minds and rattle our hearts. More specifically, we need your weirdness. Whether you’re an artist, a teacher, a data processor, an engineer, or a mom, we need you to access and illuminate the [Sacred Weird] that rests deep within the corners of your soul–the ideas and passions you can’t shake, the solutions you see that nobody else does, the one-of-a-kind history that only you carry, complete with all its crooked roads, cracks, and smudges.”  

THIS is why we’re so stoked to help you find your Sacred Weird. Because it has something to offer the world!

Obviously, we’d love for you to join us on February 10th. But whether you do or not, you’ve got to check out CJ’s book, Get Weird

And enjoy this last little nugget to get you even more excited…

“When we abandon our weirdness, when we believe the lie that it’s better to fit in than to stick out, we get further and further away from “on earth as it is in heaven”… But when we bravely decide to embrace our own weirdness, it lets others know they belong just as they are too…”


If that doesn’t get you excited, well, you’re [not] weird. 😉

Wine, Words, and Weirdness

Sunday, February 10th, 6PM
Urge Common House, San Marcos
RSVP by 
February 7th

Meet CJ Casciotta. He’s weird. And he thinks you are too. In fact, he thinks your weirdness is a gift that should be given to the world. 

He will be joining us at Wine & Words in February to talk about your weirdness and explain to us why he hangs out with puppets. It’s gonna be a fun, weird, and wonderfully insightful time that you won’t want to miss!

Learn more about CJ

RSVP To Weirdness


New Podcast Episode!

In the weirdness of a 5 week month, we felt like it had been way too long since our last episode. So here’s a little bonus episode at a kitchen table instead of in a treehouse. It’s weird and wonderful and you can find it on Apple, Google, Spotify, and probably other places too… Just search for “uncommon cast”.

Or listen to the newest episode here.

Listen Here

You are loved
You are valued
You belong

Your uncommon [team]