What We Can Learn From The White Flag Bandits

John Sowers

Last week, two white flags mysteriously appeared on the Brooklyn Bridge. NYC police and counter-terrorism units were disturbed by the “breach of security.” While this is true from their perspective, I like to think something more beautiful happened. I think whoever put up those white flags had a brilliant idea: Create a clear vision of peace.

Keep The Friends Who Are Willing To Wound You

John Sowers

To hear my writing was like an IKEA product stung a little. But Kari was right. It hurt, but it helped move me in the right direction. These wounds – honest, true wounds – are helpful if we let them be. But if we get defensive or don’t listen, we miss the moment.

3 Reasons My Children Are Happier Than Me

John Sowers

Recently, we were in San Diego, my wife Kari thought we should go to the Aquarium of the Pacific. My daughters love fish. Sahara likes watching seals jump. Dassi is a massive penguin fan. When you ask her what sound a penguin makes, she says, “Waddle, waddle, waddle,” then rocks side to side like a red-headed Weeble Wobble.

Why Every Girl Longs for a Father’s Love

John Sowers

My twin daughters are two years old.

They love doing somersaults at gymnastics. Walking on the balance beam. Jumping in the foam pit. They love the zoo – the lumbering elephants and tall giraffes and howling monkeys. Rhinos scare them a little. They love home-made smoothies that Kari calls “Banana Drink.” (Pronounced ‘bo-nana dink’)

Restoring Broken Places This Christmas Season

John Sowers

Last week, Icelandic police shot a man.

This hardly seems newsworthy, except, it was the first event of its kind in the history of Iceland. Never before had police killed anyone. Ever.

When the two officers responded to the call and went into the suspect’s house, they were unarmed. In Iceland this is not unusual; the majority of the Icelandic Police officers don’t carry weapons.

How Portland and the Book of Acts Changed Me

John Sowers

I love Portland. Small Batch Coffee. Powells Books. Community Gardens. Crisp air. Bikes everywhere. Timbers Army. Everyone has a front porch.

And in the mild summers, when the rain takes a break and goes on vacation, everyone lives on their front porch. I love the posture of this. It’s welcoming. Open. It’s the way of the older neighborhoods, designed by craftsmen and architects who built houses for relationship and communal living [...]

How to Move Beyond Words — Write with Blood

John Sowers

I remember sitting behind a mixing table at NRG music studios in North Hollywood. From the street, NRG looks like a back-alley warehouse, surrounded by a high, chained link fence. No flash. No fanfare. From the outside, you’d have no idea that NRG hosted artists like: Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Alicia Keys, Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne and others.

I was sitting in Studio A listening to an artist lay down vocal tracks. The two songwriters, Ben and David, were sitting right beside me, feeling and mouth-syncing the words. After one take, Ben got up and went into the recording room. He was saying something to the singer – and she was nodding. From behind the glass, I couldn’t really hear what he was saying, but I did make out one phrase….

Bleed for me. [...]

Change Someone’s Life – Provide a Mentor

John Sowers

The Mentoring Project exists to rewrite the fatherless story through mentoring. We recruit, train and encourage mentors to show up for at-risk and fatherless kids. We watch tiny (and massive) miracles happen day after day.

Although a mentor can never replace a father, he can be a champion of a child in a way that allows a precious young soul to spread its wings. Diego is an example of one who now soars with the help of his mentor.

Diego’s mom died from an accident during childbirth. Diego’s skull was [...]

We Are Oklahoma – How Locals Are Uniting After the Tornado

John Sowers

Last year, we began dreaming with leaders from Oklahoma City…

As we dreamed, we met business leaders and pastors standing together for the fatherless. We heard Governor Fallin say fatherlessness was Oklahoma’s greatest challenge. We saw a city united and committed to reaching youth through foster care, adoption and mentoring.

Something special was happening in Oklahoma. And it embodied the [...]

Why Chasing Fame Doesn’t Work to Build Your Career

John Sowers

One of the unsaid promises of social media is: you can be famous. If you get enough followers, fans, likes, retweets, then you can make your book, blog, movie, band, idea – go. So we focus on making big enough tribes, creating big enough platforms, so our idea will fly. We delve into:

Twitter – Facebook – Instagram – Pinterest – YouTube – MySpace – LinkedIn – Jumbalaya – Vimeo – Google Plus – WordPress – OmniCron – Tumblr

We work hard on our personal brand.
Squeeze into [...]

Want to Change Lives? The Most Important Part is to Just Show Up

John Sowers

I was six when I first met Tom.

Before Tom, the only man I was around was my little league baseball coach. Coach Castle drove an old beater Jeep Cherokee. It had wood paneling and smelled like stale pipe smoke. Sometimes after practice, Coach Castle drove us to Terri’s Hot Dog Stand and bought us fried cherry pies. Coach didn’t talk much. So I just watched him. Squinting. Like I was looking at a lunar eclipse. Men were an anomaly. They rarely came around. Men were elusive creatures, like Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street.

Tom came to our door with a crooked smile and a busty mustache, back when they were cool. I wasn’t sure what to think of him. But the first time we hung out, Tom took me to Baskin Robins and bought me a double scoop of chocolate. I remember it dripping down my fingers onto the table. But it didn’t matter – I had a new friend [...]