Jockeying for Power

Since the devil’s fall, Cain, King Saul, Simon the sorcerer and today’s world-wide politicians some things rarely if ever change. See the above title of this post.

Of course it’s about land and mineral control, overt or covert subjugation of individuals, people groups, so-called “undesirables” (and especially incarcerated ones) as well as common drug/gun/sexploitation street gangs right through to much of corporate America, too often this what it’s all about.

When I consider the free slave labor in our nation’s prisons as well as gangs within them, power and gain loom large regardless.

Even church leaders and at times congregational members become part of this landscape.

When “sharing” isn’t the true motive, power and sharing as well as justice are in the distance it then indeed comes down to who has the boots-on-ground power does it not?

It’s no secret any nation’s (or dictator’s) military is historically wielded to gain, maintain, secure power in the quest for… for what?! Again, we must not pretend everyone’s true motive is non-sharing control, and yet for many it indeed is. Is it peace or a piece of the action we seek?

As I mentioned above, gain is a major factor. Witness Putin in Ukraine. Witness any number of U.S. and other countries politicians, business heads, perhaps your own boss at work.

Admittedly SHARING itself can be co-opted, is often used by those in the proverbial driver’s seat in order to keep people onboard or at least in line with policies and the objectives of those in power.

God- Father/Son/Spirit is the Ultimate of ultimate Power in all the universe. On the one hand we can say He has no equal, more powerful or effective rival and therefore doesn’t have to share anything with anyone. So what does He do?

He reveals Himself as the suffering Servant of all, as Love as well as True love’s Origin, as the sacrificial Lamb who does not use His power to rob, kill, destroy but rather to heal, feed, cleanse, include, share His love, mercy, forgiveness and eternal life with “whosoever will, let them come”!

Whosoever will“. The true God is no dictator as He has given us the ability to deny or walk in a relationship of love and grace with Him.

Seems to me demagogues only offer choices for their own self-interest. The God I believe, follow, have walked with so imperfectly during my lifetime on this planet has so demonstrated His compassion, provision and grace toward me to the extent I am convinced He knows what He’s doing with His ultimate power -and even when it arrives in brutal form, we disagree with how events unfold, deny His very existence or vilify His motives -when I compare Him to what I see throughout human history there is no comparison that convinces me human beings are more righteous, loving or willing to share to the extent He is, has and does.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


The Brutality of Preaching

Yep, you read that right -and from a preacher no less… me.

Being an extrovert, an A (or triple-A) personality doesn’t mean the Lord God somehow automatically gave you the spiritual gift of prophet, pastor, teacher or evangelist. That’s one reality many don’t consider in going to the Bible for foundational clues for what they ought to be doing with their words whether spoken, written or via the arts communicating. Yes -even in communicating the Good News of Jesus Christ.

At the same time introvert or not, exactly why is it so few followers of Jesus talk with others about their faith?

Believe me, I get the political vitriol and positioning, the cultural disagreements, the seeking to live out scripture which can often place one in what seems an offensive place in terms of sharing Jesus with others. As if that hasn’t always been the case throughout history?

I also understand and admit the blatant hypocrisy among the churches and of course individual professing Christ-followers because often we are not in truth following Jesus, living out His call to love, serve, sacrifice, even accept hostility as part of our lot as true disciples of His.

Can we not also admit plenty of “nones”, full-on atheists, agnostics and people of other faith traditions in fact preach? Yep. Words spoken, written, acted out or otherwise passed along via the arts indeed preach. So there’s that.

Telling people what they don’t like or wish to hear, sometimes arguing in tone, delivery, lack of knowledge (and the humility admitting we do NOT “know it all” about God, the Bible or plenty of other matters on this planet!) and the wisdom to build relationships of integrity as opposed to merely “making the sale” of salvation… well I do think brutality is very applicable in discussing this stuff.

Let’s see, what might mitigate it? And can one ever speak strong, forthright words that won’t offend those who hear?

As simplistic and cliched as it sounds DO ALL YOU DO IN LOVE (yep, shouting here) is key. Let’s also add meekness, kindness, patience, gentleness, well let’s blend these and like terms throughout God’s Word (Bible) along with, when possible, respectful relationships. Methinks such is a recipe for “those with ears to hear”.

I’m purposely not using the term “success” here because that’s really between each person and God Himself. At the same time I think we, yes, I have more growing up to do in terms of passing the truth of God, His Word and His heart for people along to others.

God help us!

And as always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

What IS it?!!

Don’t deny your experiences of pain, suffering, tragedy, unexplained miseries in this world.

Don’t deny that there is beauty, harmony, creative blessings and indeed Good News in this world.

It’s both/and. If we only camp, cement ourselves in the one or the other we are in denial of reality -keep going and it can become denial of God Himself.

An appropriate English word comes to mind: balance.

Regardless of your or your loved one’s temperament, any circumstances you’d care to name there are the negatives AND positives all through human experience on earth -indeed not only outside of but inside of any faith tradition including the Christian churches.

The mix of these, the genuine impossibility of our gaining complete control in all of it, deep desires unfulfilled or at times completely met, I have known countless numbers of people who work overtime to evade either of these realities.

Personally, I cannot. Further, I will not.

As I write Chicago itself is crisp, clear, bright and sunny – and experiencing a rather cold Spring day toward the back end of May. Go figure 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Beginnings and Endings

It doesn’t take long before we recognize we deal with changes, sometimes simple and neuanced while at others, drastic.

People are born, die, sometimes either of them unexpectedly.

It’s the same for marriages, sports clubs, rock bands and churches. Always has been.

I just read yet another article about churches closing down due to dwindling numbers, high costs of building and programs upkeep, aging populations who for a number of reasons can’t keep up in terms of finances, energy, health issues and etc..

Though I can empathize with those dealing with these scenarios I’ve seen it happen from my pre-teens until now at 70 years of age as I write.

With the pandemic, greater pressures on many levels and a younger population who have taken often legit and understandable (as well as sometimes trivial and self-serving) aim at irrelevant, unsustainable practices as well as older generations self-serving, even racist, white top-down control issues -well, for me there isn’t much mystery in why the churches or various ministries end.

One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to recognize lack of relationship-building in a street, town, local community. The same goes for lack of any form of either the verbal sharing one’s faith in Jesus along with, for example, Jesus’ imperatives in Matthew 25. Don’t waste time writing me to defend why folks aren’t loving their neighbors as themselves, we all fail in this. The issue is how deeply this affects new folks, largely the younger in terms of their own leap of faith and commitment.

All of this affects their willingness to engage as well as depth of longer term involvement.

Hence, the churches and other ministries shut down as the people within them begin to stay home, stay put spiritually, disengage in real, relational and relevant meeting of peoples needs OUTSIDE of their immediate group regardless of type/sort/style/ gathering place.

Again, none of this is should be a surprise to those paying attention.

I’ve never cared about numbers or percentages. Jesus leaves the 99 to find the one who is lost. He via Himself and the Spirit turned the world upside down with 11, the 12th fully turning away from Him.

It was, is and always shall be about Him -and those in both spiritual and practical need and whether our love extends beyond ourselves, our safe and comfortable cliques and sowing the Love, Word and grace of God to those around us fully connected with a walked, lived-out example.

I say if a building is unsustainable sell it and/or collaborate to help ease the housing crisis, homelessness, for non-profits, etc., who are doing the work the church doesn’t or will not do.

If our ending becomes a positive and truly God-sent beginning for others, so be it, count me in!!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

So(w) What?

“A sower went out to sow.. ..”

Nahhh, God does that, I’m tired, worn out, I do enough just to survive, gotta have more me-time.

I don’t have the gift of evangelism and besides there are those that do and feel that call so let them do that stuff, it ain’t my job.

Well I don’t think I was predestined to preach the good news so I’m happy to support those who do.

My family and people on my block, my next door neighbors all know what I believe. It’s between them and God anyway. If they ask me I’ll let ’em know more directly but hey, live and let live.

Got a to-do list a mile long too. I got other things to do now.

Time to kick back with a cold one.

(And Glenn says, as always, thanks for stopping by.) !

Let’s Consider Investing

Yep, you read that right. I don’t write much about investment but if you think about it I actually do rather constantly.

God has invested His love, forgiveness and overall grace in our lives. Some receive it, some refuse, but He invests still.

I was recently reminded of this via a piece of writing by a death row inmate who said whatever time he has left on earth only makes sense as he invests in other people. That rings true.

We all need time for ourselves, refreshing rest, no-sin hobbies and experiences that bring us joy and a sense of peace. We also need to see what’s in our “account” -we have spiritual gifts, natural talents, a bit of knowledge, maybe even wisdom that we might share to invest in others.

I’m really talking about mentoring in a broad sense, not old skool leadership, top-down control or manipulation with the driver of all this motivated by self-centered “now I have worth/value” but as Jesus taught “Give” without focusing on “and it shall be given unto you” through of course there is a certain reaping what we sow.

Some years ago I spoke (and I believe wrote about it in my blog posts here) a message in a church about “return on investment”. Rather than looking for any particular “return” our eyes must best be set on others and how we might be of some assistance to them.

How easy it is to only give to those who in some way/s give back to us! Jesus spoke about only loving those who love us… He clearly stated that such is not the way to live.

I think leaving the fruit of our labor, whatever our work, calling, gifts offered to others may be, is about the glory and honor of God Himself who of course is the Source of any authentic gift as well as fruit our serving others may produce.

Also important is the reality that other’s receptivity is not only/entirely on us.

Lastly, God Himself gives the increase.

Yes, with what He gives and whatever time we have on the planet, let’s invest!

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


The New Testament mentions “running the race” but not in the sense of competition and certainly not living the Christian life being about “winning” against our sisters and brothers in Christ. Read that again please.

I suggest to you the best race is one we run against ourselves or rather for the Lord’s revealed will within ourselves to be done in terms of personal spiritual growth, bettering our own attitudes, patience and pace. As any athlete knows it’s all about training not mere performance when the “GO!” means “Now!”.

Incidentally, runners in actual races have lost paying too close attention to others in the race. It’s a novice mistake.

Sadly, many are so focused on performance the love of God for them and theirs toward God and neighbor gets lost in trying to “win” against others even in the churches.

Training gets put aside and the focus is so on lesser and even side-track/bunny trail matters we mess up -stagnate or even lose (spiritual, practical) muscle tone and fitness due to our motivation no longer being love or growing in our own progress. If we fall into such habits we won’t be paying appropriate attention to our own race and the very path in front of us in the process of looking at those around us seeking to somehow “win” as though in a spiritual competition with them.

How many arguments and splits have come from such motives?

Note: people become a distraction because we have mentally/emotionally made them so!

“By love… serve one another” NOT by competing, try to “one-up” one another!

What a waste. This is one of the tragic miss-steps in a Christian’s life if not given proper attention.

The key and antidote is having our eyes fixed on Jesus and our own walk rather than measuring ourselves by those around us.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

A Musician- For WHAT?

I’d say at very least, as a fun hobby. Because it’s therapeutic. For personal growth as you learn regardless of singing, instrument, style approach. Perhaps to make a living, at least in part. For a sense of community with other musicians or would-be musicians.

The disciplines involved in music whether by covering other’s songs or writing your own, collaboration with others and on it goes -are worthwhile.

All of these somewhat figure into my own art-making as a musician.

Many musos have said they MUST make music, it’s a have-to hardwired into their DNA. I don’t disagree.

We all know how music can soothe, motivate, inspire, sometimes coax us into new ways of thinking and doing, even serving people in need.

Again, I’m fully on board with all of these.

Taking care of yourself and others you love is a massive part of what moves many to work as a musician, sharing what might benefit others.

The downsides or possible issues that come from living life as a musician are also more thoroughly stated in plenty of online articles, interviews and full books, biographies and such.

I’ll only list two here:

Self as the central focus.

Secondly there are a long list of reasons why both objectively and subjectively others may strongly dislike, be sort of “meh” or just don’t care for what you bring to their ears, eyes and various methods of sonic delivery, still others that will relate and deeply love what you offer. You don’t have much control over any of these! Please read this paragraph once more… slowly.

See, being at peace within yourself- not the extremes of “I’m brilliant and this is a truly amazing piece of work” all the way to “Why do I even bother, my music (and perhaps even I, myself) am worthless!”

If you move beyond the garage, basement, living room, practice and/or small recording (say, home studio) environment the more public you are, the more somewhat “known” you become the more you’ll learn all I’ve said here so far.

The other night I did what I’ve done countless times for decades with a group of men behind bars in bringing some music to help them through their plight. Though “In the Soul of a Man” (my own song via GKB) wasn’t on my setlist I decided to finish with it.

Two lines are “I was born to know temptation, born to sing an’ play the blues. Born to know frustration, born to sing an’ play the blues.”

The concluding line is “But I have overcome, because I know the One Who paid my dues.”

Sharing the love and grace of God with those in such deep need has been a lifetime calling and pursuit, and in my case and that of many others I know, the gift of music can transcend all barriers.

In conclusion, the Atlantic slave trade which brought murder and rank misery to thousands of lives arguably gave birth to American blues music. As in Africa and around the world, people sang and some became musicians to help ease the sufferings and injustices of this life as well as to communicate truth.

Eventually many came to faith in Jesus and His words of truth, hope, love. And of course music is one vehicle and expression of what the Bible calls (and indeed God Himself calls for…) worship.

This is why as long as I am able, I’ll make and share music for my Lord and “for those who have ears to hear.”

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

GK Solo Blues Shows Coming

Saturday May 6th, 2023 GK and Rex Carroll Blues and Burgers at Battle Creek, MI Friend’s Church. For details please phone. Music starts (indoors) at 6pm 1305 Olive St. Battle Creek, MI 49014 269-968-9376


GK Solo Blues – AudioFeed Festival SUN. July 2, 2023

2pm Burningtown Stage
Location: Champaign County Fairgrounds
1302 N Coler Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn