Here are some stories of the sea and news from the Frontlines!
I (Greg) get the opportunity to walk in many kingdoms and into the lives of many kings. At Zoweh Allies, we are so honored to be given such access and privilege. It is our deepest desire as allies to be friends first before we draw up battle plans, and only then draw swords. Knowing and being known is absolutely key. And as we like to say at Zoweh - missions, battles, adventures, freedoms are born out of relationship.
Relationship is the key - relationship with God and each other and it is all born out of love!
We love you!
2020 was a tough year. Many allies weren't able to gather in person; three of Zoweh's own weekend conferences were taken away; we’re outnumbered, behind the 8-Ball even. And now what? As 2021 takes root, will we stay here?
I’m reminded of the close of the movie Braveheart:
In The Year Of Our Lord 1314, patriots Of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields of Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen, and won their freedom.
- Robert the Bruce
Patriots of God done got 2020-ed! Evil dared to raise it head - but - we are charging the work of the enemy - we are fighting like warrior poets - with Hearts of a Warrior, Beloved men, Warrior Kings - we are learning to fight the enemy well and win our freedom and those of our family and our friends!
2020 will be remembered for generations as being one of the strangest years on record no doubt. No one predicted the challenges the world would face and the dismantling of so many “normal” modes of gathering and communication. Weekly churches stopped, small groups, Sunday School classes, even funerals and weddings were put on hold or eliminated altogether. Everybody had to mask up and the world found new ways to communicate. We were all told this was the New Normal, get used to it.
Thankfully as an Ally of Zoweh we already had an organization and a virtual connectedness in place. Within days of all the lockdowns and cancellations, Zoom calls which were being used to prep for events became the actual event. A new way to communicate became the New Normal and we gathered virtually, some of us for the first time. Where two or three were gathered became a 20 or 30 person Allies Zoom call or a regular meeting during the workday for encouraging and sharing of concerns and news events. This was a true picture of what Allies are capable of.
As a moderator for the Zoweh Allies facebook home, I have been able to direct friends and members of our local community at New 4RMations located here in the upstate region of South Carolina, to connect with men all around the world. We see Allies connect from across the country and hear prayer requests and concerns from Allied men just like us. What a resource this has been, its awesome to see events and group gatherings from across the community.
After this year some things will remain in this state of New Normal forever, one thing that we can take from the experience that was 2020 is the way we all grew together in community despite being separated by geography. Zoweh Allies is an invaluable resource for connecting New 4RMations with groups and men all over the country and we are so blessed to able to share our news, prayers and just be encouraged by Michael, Jim, Greg, SJ and all the team in real time. Remember, no matter what 2021 brings, if you are an Ally with Zoweh, the guys at New 4RMations will always have your back!
Many of you recall the story of Eric Liddell, in the movie Chariots of Fire. My favorite quote from the movie is when he says, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
At this very moment in your life, wherever you are, no matter what the circumstances may be, or how bad you feel, His pleasure is at its greatest for you. The very Father God, who through Jesus, holds all things together is pouring out His desire, His love, His absolute, unconditional pleasure over you. Linger here and let Him come.
So. Why doesn’t it feel like He loves you all the time? Why are things just plain hard? What sort of tail have we fallen into that our lives seem to be nasty, brutish and short? Given the year that many of us have had, whether facing incredible illness, or financial uncertainty, we’ve found ourselves likely facing these battles alone. I don’t mean that you don’t have a few chaps to drink beer with, or an accountability group your church (is hoping) is still in progress. I mean those kinds of gatherings typically don’t get the places that need attention, the places that you really carry all by yourself.
For me, its debt, its closet addictions, its lies I’ve allowed myself to believe about myself, my wife, or what I’m supposed to be. What about you? What are you carrying alone in this isolating and socially bereft global pandemic? Fill in the blank and know that you are not alone and that there is, wait for it…, a plan for rescue, a serious foolproof antidote for the virus that is corrupting our ability to see, hear, think, and experience the profound pleasure God has for you.
How do I get some of that antidote? Is it free? Where do I sign up? What are the side effects?
Zoweh’s Battle Plan is akin to Operation Warp Speed. Seriously. We all know that Jesus is the antidote. He paid the price. You can sign up with a whisper, a tear, on your knees, screaming at the top of your lungs. He’s ready for you, wherever you may be. The side effects are Freedom, Abundant Life, Joy, Peace, Rest, Adventure, Battle, Restoration, Healing, and Union with the Father. How long does it last? Forever.
Here’s the plan: Get into His presence. Here’s the catch: Do it alone and then do it with your brothers. Jesus spent time alone with the Father so He could bring life to His brothers. This is how the Kingdom of God comes to earth.
I think I repeatedly told myself since March 2020, “I’m a wreck, I’m a monster, I’m not worthy, and I certainly don’t feel close to God today.” But I want to declare that I am loved by my Father and that I hunger and thirst for His presence, so that I can feel His pleasure for me.
Come. Join us. Believe that He will stop at nothing to show you how much He loves you. And trust in His Battle Plan for your life. Thank God for Zoweh and the leadership they are taking in bringing Life in the Spirit to thousands of men and women. Amen
- by Josh Overton, Pastor of Rescue Church, Durham, NC
I often find myself revisiting the glory days of my high school wrestling career. It’s funny how you grow up hearing your coaches always talking about how what you’re doing now will provide life lessons, and then before you know it, you’re standing in the middle of one of those moments. As I look back at 2020 and all that we’ve endured, I find myself right back on the mat. You're in a fight, exhausting all of your energy and strength, focused on your opponent’s strategy while attempting to execute your own plan.
Between that, and the head gear that you wear, the noise around you is often completely drowned out. Eventually you learn to settle your thoughts, and that’s when you hear the bellows of your coach, some 15 yards away, calling out move sets, encouragement and advice.
I've done my best to be that voice for the men in my circles. It’s proven difficult to be heard in midst of the noise of 2020, but I like to think that I’m like one of my high school coaches. It may take a moment to settle down and hear, but the coaching and cheering has been there all along. Which is exactly why I’m thankful for Zoweh and the allies that band together. You have no idea how it feels to look over in your corner and consistently hear, “We’re here for you! We’re praying for you! We’re cheering for you! We are fighting for and with you.”
Over and over again, during this challenging year, I have been reminded of the critical importance of Redemptive Friendships. We are blessed to hear and experience many stories from our friends and allies every day – many of those stories are difficult or sad ones and are often attributable to isolation or separateness. And many of those stories are happy, redemption stories, and are often positively influenced by the love of a friend – someone who knows us and willingly walks with us through the hard stuff
That’s really what Zoweh’s Allies initiative is all about – together we are stronger! And good things happen when kings and kingdoms with a common purpose come together for the good of others! We need each other.
This year there have been several ways that we have promoted connections:
Informal Phone Calls – led by Greg Sailors, we are often on the phone with current or potential allies offering updates, sharing stories, offering coaching or just simply checking in. We love hearing from you!
Encouragement Visits – for those friends who have been allies for a long time or who have large groups of men meeting under their care, we try to schedule time to visit them for fellowship, encouragement and sharing.
Recalibrate Zoom Calls – we encourage all our allies to join us on the second Thursday of every month at 8p eastern on a zoom call where we catch up with each other to share stories and best practices. Often we highlight one or two of our allies partners.
Pastors Roundtable – another monthly Zoom call for those men who have the very challenging job of leading a church or a church men’s initiative. We meet at noon eastern on the fourth Tuesday of every month to share challenges and encouragement.
Webinars/Blogs/Live Broadcasts – periodic gatherings/sharings to reinforce the common mission of Zoweh and our allies to pursue more intimacy, oneness and connectedness with God and with each other.
As a reminder, our mission is NOT to build a ministry but rather to pursue this intimacy, oneness and connectedness. If it’s God’s will then ministry will flow from that.
Thank you friends and allies for your commitment to this mission during a challenging year!
Although 2020 has come and gone, God is still up to so much good. Our focus has been on relationship, resourcing and kingdom building as we rescue hearts. We are so looking forward to rolling out the Battle Plan this year. We believe strongly that it, along with The Heart of a Warrior, is our “charging the fields of Bannockburn.” We are hopeful that this suite of resources will be the catalyst for redemptive friendships around the world.
Thank you for standing with us in 2020 - we love you - we are standing with you! We are looking forward to all the good God has planned in 2021. As Dan Allender says,
"I will live every day of my life alongside like-minded kings. I will sign treaties with them and when they go to war, so will I. Our destination is nothing short of restoring the hearts of men and helping them fulfill their roles as co-heirs of His Kingdom here on earth." - Dan Allender
Zoweh Allies are Churches, Ministries and Individuals who are creating environments where redemptive friendships lead to communities that focus on deeper intimacy with God and others. Think you might be an ally?