Two W. Reverb :)

Diddley Bow and 3 Stringer Reverb Gits!

Been wanting to try this for years. I don’t have time to give all the details on these but both are fretless acoustic (no pickups) slide guitars. One is a 3 stringer, the other 1 string diddley bow. Inside each- the 3er has 3 springs attached, the 1er 5 springs attached. You get a somewhat subtle reverb sound from them. Cool 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


A Sense of Place

Some nearly always seem settled and not just in survival mode no matter where they are or whom they’re with. Others seem to deal with near-continual uprootedness and never land, rarely feeling comfortable with people or space. What’s up with this?

Last week at Cook County Jail I was invited to bring a word to nearly 30 dudes in jumpsuits. The essence of the content follows.

Paul writes in Philippians 4.12, 13 “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

When I first read those words I was in process of coming to saving faith in Jesus. I don’t even remember where I saw them, either a booklet or a book or whatever, but there was a bit of writing that included some six or seven scriptures and these verses were part of it.

I immediately thought “Either this guy is flippin’ CRAZY or a complete LIAR or else he has what I need and -where did he get this?!”

Now some who riff on such things might beat you up royally about faith. The Bible says even faith is a gift from God. But consider that Jesus told us “for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” But His full statement includes these words just before those: “”But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”! (Matthew 5.44, 45)

The context is my/your/own attitude (get this) toward those you really dislike. Jesus uses the term “enemies” and says we must pray for them. Note also the context is not to pray for their misery to increase, but in the broad realization that God has control of sun and rain and knows how to minister to them -and us… according to our real need.

God apparently brings both sun and rain into all human experience.

He is further quoted by Luke “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…” (Luke 6.27)

Isn’t that what God does every day? He loves His enemies working to build bridges, not some celestial fiend who takes pleasure in trashing people. He waits for prodigals to come home. Isn’t that a revelation of His patience and grace even toward sinners -like you and me?

What does all this have to do with our feelings of love, acceptance, comfort in our surroundings and “place”? What about when you both feel and in stark reality are repeatedly treated as a misfit, what then?

Obviously after staying put with people and place, if repeated, in situations like that it’s time to move on, go elsewhere, hard as it may be, to make new friends in a fresh place. The rub is when you find this to be a fairly common “story of my life” thing. Then I’d advise some serious soul-searching and before God and your mirror, honest truth-telling self-to-self. “A friend must show themselves to be friendly.” (Pro. 18.24)

Two key reasons I finally surrendered to Jesus Christ were 1. I was an out-of-control self-loathing addict, a narcissist of the first order, and hated my life 2. The “lights came on” within my own thinking as I realized in my addictions and influence I had wrecked so many people via drink, drugs and simply being a massively self-centered jerk who was trying to “find my place” but never arriving at that moving target.

I cannot honestly say anyone was abusing me but if I wasn’t satisfied by what I was getting out of others I created a huge space between us. This is part of why as a musician I was in more than a dozen bands between my 13th and 18th birthday!

I would join, leave, re-join, leave, start a band, kill it, on and on. I was out of control and largely wanted control. Wherever I went there I was and I brought my internal turmoil in (and out) the door with me.

I had to learn to see myself through God’s eyes, through God’s Word in particular and the more I studied it I recognized my life-long habits of self-protection to the extent I finally realized that the far greater portion of the time, the greatest enemy I’d ever had -and consistently so… was ME.

HOW could Paul talk about being content in -all- circumstances?!!

I suggest his sense of identity and therefore place was in the Person of Jesus Christ, and in the mission God gave Him on earth. He was repeatedly rejected, heckled, beaten, stoned to the extent his enemies left him thinking he was dead… and on that occasion he got up and walked (likely limped or was helped to move) back into that very town!

Paul’s sense of place was “in Christ”, and where God told Him to go and share the Good News of Jesus he went. His contentment had a price, that being both Jesus’ Own blood as well as Paul’s blood at times, chains as a criminal and as far as we know, his own death by the self-worshiping Roman government.

Paul further writes to young Timothy “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” Well godliness isn’t automatic nor a matter of self, rather a deepening relationship with God whereby He works more and more of HIS character and nature in us. THAT my friends, is a miracle and a sweet one!

“Place” isn’t about me. It’s not about you or us, not entirely about any particular group of assembled “us”. It’s about Him and others in need wherever you are.

Lastly, there are certainly those with mental illness, folks sustaining injuries from accidents, war and etc., and there is no quick fix if these are true, legitimate issues in regard to our topic. We can and should pray for, be kind to and do what we can to help such people link with professionals where fruitful results at least sometimes happen.

I note the weather is changing as I write this, back and forth from warm and sunny to rainy and now quite windy and colder as autumn comes to Chicago.

Throughout my lifetime I’ve experienced bitter cold and brutal heat. It’s all part of the journey.

Do I always LIKE what’s going on? Nope. But there is something deeper happening inside me. God the Holy Spirit lives, works and changes my attitude. I’m at peace as I’ve found my place.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

My Reply To Art/Political Record Post in FaceBook

A recent Facebook post went up, was responded to by some and as I tried to reply with the following it had been taken down. So, as I quote the quote (below) every so often, this would have been my response to the issue of art, “political” records and artistry.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

“Agape Lovers, Activists -both/and rather than either/or. So imho, the best single quote I have thus far heard or seen re. artists and artistry, from the now defunct “Tell” Magazine:

‘Great artists have always been at the edge of growing awareness about what was happening in any society. They have been not just entertainers, but poets, painters, agitators, teachers and even prophets. It seems their gift to us is to help us see vividly what is taking place around us; to raise our awareness about social conditions, about our natural surroundings, to call for a response to human beauty and tragedy, to help us get inside the skin of others. Perhaps the greatest moments for artists are when they move us towards justice, mercy and compassion. Maybe then they are fulfilling their real destiny as artists and human beings.” – From Australian Christian magazine “Tell'”

“In The In-Between”

Took a walk through the garden this a.m. with a cup of coffee, checking out the sorta-kinda changing flowers, birds, butterflies and buzzing bees all while considering and praying for so many friends deeply ill, some in hospital, people’s kids hitting hard walls in various areas, difficult and major issues of importance in the U.S. and the U.K. and on it goes. I won’t bother searching through my posts here, nor emails or other areas for prose/lyrics I’ve likely written on this theme before but today this is what came of my thoughts. God help us use our time wisely.

Oh, somewhat related, after a long hiatus, a fresh podcast if you’re interested in 12 mins. of chatter:

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Gone, Dormant, Green and In-between

glenn kaiser

Sometimes we just want closure
An end to fraying seams
Sometimes it just gets crazy
Brutal -or simply mean
Illness, death, the on and on
Poisoning our dreams
Mirrors all around us
Revealing speck and beam
I think we need unchanging grace
While living in the in-between

This morning in the garden
Summer feel in Fall
Leaves not quite yet turning
Grasses. flowers, tall
Weather this, whether that
Sunny, cloudy, stalled
Cool nip in the air today
Birds feed through it all
His eye’s still on the sparrow
Winter, Spring-ish clean
The gift of faith sustaining
While living in the in-between

The whole world seems conflicted
Most everyone’s for sale?
Focused on survival
Blaming “them” for fail
The power and the glory
Never ours to give
Recognized or not
In the One Who ever lives
Death and taxes certain -yet
Eternal daylight streams
Grace/time: prepare to meet your God
While living in the in-between

Appearance Update: GK Solo OCT-NOV-DEC 2019

Appearance sched. update is here but first the major news is not “appearances” but rather that I’ll be focused on finishing up at least one of two record projects I’ve been working on, as well as one of two book projects and use much of October and November to do so. We’ll post everywhere when either/both are ready to drop.

Also, I typically do one and sometimes up to three holiday shows between the end of November and prior to Christmas to help others celebrate Jesus’ birth. Again, stay tuned as we’ll post when all firms up.

MONDAYS- 7, 21, 28 GK w. team @ Cook County Jail, Chicago

FRI 18TH GK Solo and with Todd Anthony Joos and The Revelators- Lawrence Co. Correctional, Sumner, IL

SAT 19 GK Solo Blues/Worship Evening- Danville, IL
@ Connexion Church – 6:30pm
2915 Townway Rd Danville, IL 61832

SAT 2 GK Solo Blues (many more artists as well1) @ Chicago CigarBox Guitar Festival
Friendly Tap -All details, artists, GK set time TBA
6731-6733 Roosevelt Road Berwyn, IL 60402

THU 7 – SUN 10  GK Blues- State of Maine Tour Details TBA

MONDAYS- (several!) GK w. team at Cook County Jail, Chicago

MONDAYS- (several!) GK w. team at Cook County Jail, Chicago

Aaaaannnnd – One or more Christmas Shows- Details TBA when set

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Reality Chicago

And of course, not only Chicago, not by a long shot!!

“A 77-year-old veteran slowly limps in and finds his seat. Despite serving his country, he can’t get his benefits or housing because of “red-tape” and a technicality. He waits. His health isn’t good, so love calls us to fight for his benefits while making sure he’s fed, clothed, has a bed, and is visited in his frequent trips to the hospital.” -Jeremy Nichols

Cornerstone Community Outreach Mural

These are an excerpt and pic from one of my heroes. Jeremy and Beth live next door to Wendi and I at Jesus People U.S.A. here in Chicago. His blog is one I read and on occasion quote as they’ve both served the poor and homeless for many years (as do a number of folks here at JPUSA… a long list of amazing friends of mine…) truly practicing what they preach. This is a long and important read I highly recommend.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

“Christian” Music (and other) “Indu$try”?

We must physically survive, are “worse than an infidel” if we don’t provide for our family, are called to “render to Caesar what is Caesars” and so forth. Yep, stewardship. Agreed, got all this as practical and not only scriptural.

About 25 years ago I wrote some articles published in Cross Rhythms online (England). One piece was also published in an out-of-print book from Cornerstone Press Chicago- More Like the Master a Christian Musician’s Reader.

Michael Card, John J. Thompson, Charlie Peacock and several other noted people contributed fine chapters dealing with a wide range of issues in that book.

I provide the Cross Rhythms online link to my own chapter here only thinking two changes would suffice (in my view) if I had just written it this morning.

The ninety-nine percent figure no longer applies as so very many professing Christians are not involved in the “Christian music industry” as such… though the rest fully still applies even in the mainstream and indy music worlds.

Other than this, as has often been said these days the “Christian music industry” is largely focused on somewhat more hip worship in terms of lyrics and music styles… though huge tours, sales and numbers still greatly affect what is and ain’t played on radio, internet stations and the like.

What I wrote in the article is what I’ve believed and had experience with for closer to forty years, but in any case, if interested, it’s brief and may be of interest.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn