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]



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!



miracles and [miracles]

the miracle

Well, there are miracles and then there are miracles. You know: Miracles are things that are plain just not supposed to happen. They defy the laws of nature. They upset our understanding of the way things are supposed to be. Some are life-altering. Then there are those that send the earth off its axis.

We go about our lives hoping and expecting that things will turn out well for us. If only. And, when they don’t, we look all around for answers, solutions, manageable directions. Some of us fervently pray for a good ending, for that special healing of our bodies, our relationships, our financial well-being. Sometimes, we get what we seek and sometimes we don’t.

What gives? Why do we get some answers, and not get others? Why do we get some yeses and some nos?

Last September, Diane and I joined a group of friends to tour Israel, culminating in Jerusalem. Immediately upon our arrival, we descended on foot from the surrounding hills on the only possible path Jesus could have taken when he arrived the week he died. At the bottom of that path is the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where he was betrayed and arrested, before being led to his trial and subsequent crucifixion. This simple journey tells us a lot.

Just like his followers who were expectant that the long awaited Messiah, or Savior of the Hebrew people, would finally put things right after millennia of suffering, we seek saving from the many troubles that darken our lives. And for a while everything seemed to be going as planned. Certainly, his followers were inspired by his triumphant processional into the city.

But soon things took a turn. For the men and women who had left home and hearth to follow Jesus, the nightmare then arrived with an all consuming ferocity. The impossible happened — God’s anointed one, self-defined as the Son of Man, the Alpha and Omega, was scourged, tortured and most-ashamedly, put to death. Hope died along with Him that day. Inspiration dealt a mortal blow.

How could this be?

From triumphant expectation on the palm-strewn path to Jerusalem, to utter darkness only several days later in the Garden. And on that lonely hillside the next day, we are observers of a common pattern to all of our lives. What we thought was supposed to be was not to be. Can anyone identify with this?

Perhaps you have experienced something of such a nature. If not, certainly you are close to those who have. Diane and I belong to such a group. It seems like an inescapable reality of life – the sudden, apparent death of hope.

But then the impossible happened again — The miracle of miracles. The thing that forever changed all of creation: Hope came back to life. Life out of certain death. Upon emerging from a hell beyond imagination, Jesus sets the stage for each of us to live eternally with the God who designed us and who loves us beyond measure.He removed the obstacle – He gave his life for our life.

And more than this resurrection of hope – this truth that Jesus rose from the dead –  sets the stage for our own resurrection. Certainly one that awaits us at the end of our lives. But also the resurrection of hope that reminds us that those moments when things are not to be – the ones that seem like our very end –  might well be the start of the miraculous, unbelievable thing that God is doing in our own lives.

This week leading up to Easter is often called Holy – meaning set apart and unique.

As followers of Jesus we live in this unique space.

It is a space where our circumstances, expectations, hopes and dreams are forever shaped by the fact that Jesus has already done the heaviest lifting and will fully love and care for us forever. It is a space enlivened by the promise that the trials of today, no matter how extreme, will ultimately melt away. It is a space where expectations are not easily dashed and where inspiration comes from the knowledge that, in essence, we are already Home.

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, and it’s gonna be quite the party!

Yes, the fiesta atmosphere will be in full force…

Taco bar has been booked. Churros will be present. Latin Trio band is hired. 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 deets [that’s slang for “details”, FYI… and that’s an acronym meaning For Your Information… You’re welcome.]

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


You are loved and valued.
Have a happy Easter!



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!


Rainbows and Recaps

the rainbow

– dawn neldon

Saturday Morning I woke up and the very first thing I did was pull out my phone to check my weather app. I had been anxious all week – monitoring the weather like a teenage girl monitors her “likes” on instagram. I was obsessed. We had been planning and praying for our Taste of Community event for weeks. We were excited and exhausted and exhilarated and determined that rain would NOT spoil the goodness!

My heart sank when what had been looking like a clear-ish forecast now predicted rain. ALL DAY. The eternal optimist in me was unshook. “It’s gonna be fine” I said. “God’s got this I said”. But as one event after another got rained out Saturday morning my optimism was waning.

In fact, my optimism soon turned to pleading and I found myself convincing God of the merits of my argument while anxiously/angrily throwing laundry into the washing machine (as one does….) “God – I really need you to come through on this. It can’t rain God. God, I’ve pictured tonight in my head and that picture absolutely did NOT include rain. Do you understand? It can’t rain!”

Suddenly, from my laundry room window I saw a glimmer of sunshine and I felt God nudge “I’ve got this.” My heart lightened but frankly, that wasn’t enough.  “God, I can’t take it. I need to know you’re gonna come through or I’m gonna be an anxious mess all day. I need you to show me a rainbow. God, I NEED a rainbow okay?”

Having just seen the sun break through, this didn’t seem like an unreasonable request. So I dropped my laundry, frantically pulled on my boots and ran outside (kinda like a crazy person), searching for the rainbow that I was certain I would find waiting for me. There was no rainbow. In fact, the one patch of blue sky was quickly getting swallowed by incoming clouds.

That’s okay I told myself, I have all day. “God – you hear me? You’ve got time! I just need to see a rainbow today – I need to know you see us.”  And, in all honesty I was certain that He did see us. And so I spent all day hunting for rainbows. Everytime a patch of sunlight would break through I would run to the window and crane my neck. Several times I scurried into my muddy front yard in the rain (much to the confusion of my neighbors I’m sure)…but no luck.

Finally, I had to give up rainbow hunting to get ready for the event – all the while checking my weather app like it was my job. Truth be told, things weren’t looking good and I was preparing for the worst. And that’s when it happened. Just as I had finished getting ready, my 5 year old, Rubi came into my room.

“Mom, I drew you a picture!”

“Oh ya? What is it?” (because *pro-tip* you always ask a child what they drew. Guessing is for rookies.)

“It’s a monkey dancing under a rainbow.”

And I smiled. God showed up.

As I headed down to Old Poway Park to set up for the event I was just laughing to myself. It’s just like God to show up in a totally unexpected way. And this unexpected nature of God means that we often miss what He’s doing. If I hadn’t spent the day hunting for rainbows I would have missed the fact that God had my daughter hand deliver His message of promise. I would’ve missed the wink from God that said, “You are seen and I’ve got this!”

Honestly, I think this happens all too often. God offers us hand-delivered messages and we overlook them because we are busy watching for our narrowly defined “something else”.  We can do better! Let’s be a people on the lookout for God’s Uncommon activity in our midst. This week let’s hunt for rainbows – watching for God to show up in our lives. Convinced that He will – perhaps in surprising, unexpected ways.

the recap

Saturday night was simply amazing!

Even with the threat of rain looming all around and knocking out everyone’s little league plans, the evening turned absolutely beautiful on us!

About 200 people came out to Old Poway Park in all of it’s night time glory, and a good time was had by all under hundreds of glowing cafe lights.

Music made the whole scene great with sounds from Cody & Zogby, aka “Doc Zog & the Codfish” and our new friend Kyle Reynolds. These guys all worked to have a chill and welcoming vibe for everyone to mingle and connect… so good! Listen to more of Kyle’s music at God is doing great things with this guy and we were so stoked to have him join us!

I don’t know how many potatoes and pounds of chili we went through, but the crowd enjoyed a lot of great food and well paired beverages on the balcony! I absolutely loved seeing so many friends reconnecting, hanging, enjoying community and not being in a hurry while kids ran around in total joy everywhere. We all need more times like this!

King’s Craft — thank you for the great coffee… we drank it all!

Jan — “You’re welcome” for winning that hairy-belly-fanny-pack… it was almost as good as getting a new Uncommon [good] hoodie, huh?

All in all —  If you felt joy, connection, and a strong sense of belonging, then you got a great taste of Uncommon [community]. That right there is a gift from God that not everyone feels. And we pray to have more people be a part of this community and love that we are all made for.

Thanks to all who came out on a cold and almost wet  San Diego night to enjoy the big family that God put together!

May U[g] continue be a catalyst of love, community, and faith for all.

Check out the rest of our photos on Facebook…

Pics of the noche

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