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October 09, 2020
Who knew a swab could go that far?For those of you who have been tested for COVID, you know the mixed feeling of concern and hope, the reasons you would subject yourself to such a test. You feel the need to be responsible - and to not be responsible for the spread of the virus. And, whether with symptoms or without, you want to know what might lie in store for you in the days to come.The week of September 18, COVID came calling on Zoweh. Eleven of us tested positive. Four weeks later, we have all suffered to varying degrees and endured symptoms from fever, chills and aches, to rib bruising coughs. A few of us have been more fortunate to see only the mildest of symptoms, while most hard pressed during their days of quarantine. The symptoms that are seldom talked about are the dreariness and
September 16, 2020
The Masculine Journey if full of training modules. Unfortunately, as others handle (and mishandle) our hearts for many formative years, we also find ourselves in need of healing moments as well. The Masculine Journey has its stages. You don’t trust an eight-year old with a chainsaw or to drive a car, but you can and should trust him to bring order to his room, choose whether he wants broccoli or green beans, the red t-shirt or the blue one. Just like you trust a fourteen-year old to get his chores done without being nagged (easier said than done) and don’t pick up after him or dress him anymore (although at 56, my wife does a pretty good job of selecting what I can and cannot wear). The older I get, the more I see the Masculine Journey which my heart has been on and the need I have to be
September 01, 2020
Along the masculine journey to becoming a good king, there are many opportunities for ceremonies of initiation/validation and for graduations - hundreds of such moments. Most men miss them, because most men aren’t looking. Nor are they seeing the bigger picture. God is growing you up as a man and wants you to engage, cooperate, and let him.When I was young, my dad taught me how to shoot a basketball.“Look at the back of the rim, see that hook the net is looped on? That’s your target. Hit that hook on the back of the rim and the ball goes in.” He used to say, “Never up, never in. With the right arch, hit the back of the rim and it will go in every time. Aim for the front, and you’re short even an inch, and you’ll miss every time. Never up, never in.” End of lesson.Brothers, what you aim at
August 24, 2020
The surmounting losses and continued compromises of COVID-19 have made the battle landscape fertile ground for our enemy to invite spirits of fear, hopelessness, depression, accusation and even hatred. Survey what you are invited to feel and think, and consider that not all of that is you. What an incredible and incredibly difficult time to be alive. This generation is facing challenging times for sure but I’m not sure I would trade this time for other wartimes. But if the battlegrounds are fertile for the enemy, they are fertile for the Kingdom of God, too. I wonder what God is moving us through and I wonder what He has for us in the midst of these days? When “death" is the headline of a time, the kingdom of darkness works overtime to move against God … death is its specialty, it fights
August 12, 2020
It was L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that taught us that for our journey we would need Courage, Wisdom, and Heart. The Tin Man declared, “I shall take the heart. For brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” It was the same Tin Man who later said, “Now I know I've got a heart, because it is breaking.” In The Four Loves C.S Lewis reminds us of the necessity of a heart in order to love. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe
August 07, 2020
Several times a day, I am asked or am the one asking, so, how are you?What a loaded question these days. Like when you have a rainy day, then another, and another, we so long for the sunshine. The disruption has now given way to something that feels more permanent. I find the accumulative loss over time is an invitation to sit with God in both sadness and hope. It's been a long time since both were so tangible. As "life goes on,” it goes on in this fog of COVID-19, making every challenge a little more challenging and every blessing a little less beautiful.Jesus, what are you up to in this? Father, what is the good you are writing into our story these days? Holy Spirit, what do I need to move well through this fog?These are questions this Christ-apprentice can ask ... if I can remember to
June 09, 2020
When I was a boy in the late 60’s, we lived in Southern California. Most of my parents’ extended family was in the Southwest where we moved from, so we hosted many family visits to The Golden State. The beauty of it all was that we got to play host to all the attractions. This meant several trips a year to Disneyland, Knottsberry Farm, and Sea World! As a boy these were some of the best days of my life, stepping into these large worlds, environments of adventure, exploration, excitement and danger (yes, even in these places of wonder, danger existed). From time to time we would hear of accidents that happened in these parks. It only took a second for a wonderful vacation to somehow turn into an awful and regrettable tragedy. You don’t have to visit a theme park to step into a large
June 08, 2020
When my daughters were growing up, we had some tough moments in which I needed to step in … not at them, not toward them, but for them. In fifth grade, my oldest was being accused of something she didn’t do. She was called into the vice principal’s office, and I was “notified.” We lived very close by so I dropped in and got to confront the authority confronting her. My second daughter was being pursued at middle school by a boy - and not in a good way - so confronting the boy with his mother at a school function seemed like the right place right time. I was kind, but direct. My youngest daughter had a coach on her travel soccer team that was not only missing her heart, but was shaming her with harsh and diminishing “motivational” tactics. We had a meeting. He thought it was going to be an
June 02, 2020
As I have been collecting my thoughts and listening to Jesus these past several days, a phrase comes to bear that I believe can be inserted into many calendar moments of the past several decades … “In light of recent events-” When it comes to Racial Inequality and the voices needed to help our country understand current events as well as history, I quickly confess - I am not that voice. I am one who needs teaching … one who needs to still listen and pursue understanding. So instead of attempting to teach or write about recent events, I would like to offer a voice I have found important to my learning. I received the message below from one of my good friends - another teacher in my life who has been gracious to enter with me, share a much needed perspective foreign to me, and shed light on
May 29, 2020
We’re all familiar with the flight attendant “in preparation for take off” speech. Specifically the part when they say, In the case of sudden loss of cabin pressure oxygen masks will drop. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally… If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. “Your mask first.” Seems a little selfish, don’t you think? We know better. If you are going to be of any help to your child or loved one you are going to need to tend to your safety first. It’s true in the spiritual realm as well. Fathers, if you are going to be of any help, any encouragement, any strength to your