Australian Tour Notes, Part Two

DAY NINENice trip up to Taree, poor Wendi had gotten motion sick on the ride to Newcastle yesterday to the extent she wasn’t able to make the show last night, and today the twists and turns were even more intense. The poor girl is laying in the hotel room bed as I type, sitting at the diner where we’ll eat lunch.I think we’ll all nap, then head to the final John-Steve-GKB event here tonight. Tomorrow we begin the long trek up to Toowoomba where the Easter Fest is held. John and Stu fly into Brisbane and are transported out there, we will continue the long drive north, about 10 hours or so as I understand it… and likely a bit more twist/turn/up/down stuff… praying for Wendi.Had a great dinner last night after the show at the guest house where we stayed, and it turns out the owner/managers are longtime Rez Band fans. Just very sweet people.Looking forward to tonight’s show as with the GKB and Rez schedule I don’t think I will be able to hear either John or Steve and band at E-fest.On the drive north along the coast, then inland a bit in between mountain ranges we saw a lot of very beautiful greens, trees, lush bush and at one point I saw a small red deer.For the first time we saw koala crossing signs. Cool animals, but haven’t seen one.We’re staying along with God’s Squad crew at a hotel on the local golf course, and they say in the mornings one can often see kangaroos out on the course much like we might see deer on them in the U.S..So, loooong drive tomorrow. Still had a bit of rain off and on today. But things are pretty in terms of flowering trees, shrubs and other flowers. Very beautiful as Australia typically is.It is no surprise most Brits and other Europeans and eventually others settled near the coasts which are green and lush. Aboriginal people were pushed more and more into the Outback, desert and hardscrabble areas.Some groups were off and on occupying Outback places or passing through, but as Native Americans they really had no concept of “land ownership” as the white Europeans.I have often thought they and other indigenous tribes had and have more of a sense of true community and sharing as well as stewardship of natural resources, flora and fauna than did or do most people of European extraction.Well, onto lunch, nap, sound check and tonight’s show.I hope Wendi is up for it, but if not she will be safe and can rest.So it turned out Wendi felt so much better after her nap she came to the show. A good number of area churches came together, had a bbq and met at the hall at the Baptist Centre which also has church, school and Christian college attached.Rhema FM helped sponsor and advertise the event along with Easter Fest and of course God’s Squad as well.There was a local bro. who did illusions, was quite the comedian and gave an excellent rap at the end of his set about seriously making decisions in that we never know what tomorrow may bring us… spoke of pancreatic cancer and etc.. Good mate and they both loved and really listened to him.Steve and band were in excellent form and now quite ready for Easter Fest sets they’ll be doing.This was the best or equaled the best night for John’s speaking… moving stories and right from the heart stuff. People heard him well.In that there was a large crowd including many older church folks, I mixed a bit more acoustic tunes in with our GKB set, and people were very receptive. The crowd was comparable to Melbourne in terms of numbers.Steve again asked me to pray for the crowd at the end of the night and ended with a hymn on guitar. Very good night.All of us have a bit of a short night of sleep ahead due to the long drive up tomorrow, but have pre-ordered breakfast and I’m already packed. One thing about local gear (amps, drums and such) being provided is that we don’t have to worry about all that, just luggage, a couple small instruments and a couple little effect boxes along with my lap steel and small travel guitar and Roy’s bass. Pretty light and quick to move when we move each day.John and Stu are flying as I type, praying for them to have some sleep and smooth air coming over.The state of Queensland is an hour behind New South Wales so we do gain an hour going up tomorrow, that’s nice.Friday includes a sound check and GKB set. Saturday will bring my devotional and another GKB sound check and set. Easter Sunday will be a REZ sound check, press conference and set.Monday a Brisbane-based Christian ministry group called Red Frogs will take us from the Fest area in Toowoomba to our accommodations with them in Brisbane, show us around a bit and we’ll rest and ready for the return flights Brisbane-Los Angeles, L.A.-Chicago.We all miss our families, but I must say the tour has gone very well and we’ve been very well received by new friends and old alike. A lot of grace and travel mercies from Jesus throughout!Peter (John’s agent and our tour manager for this trip), Steve’s sons (who do all the p.a., drums, amps and etc. set-up and tear-down each night as well as play part of the set with their dad) and our van & trailer driver on the latter part of this tour- Matt have all worked very hard and really been wonderful. Steve’s wife Kerry celebrated her birthday (their anniversary and her birthday both during the tour!) while on the road with us… amazing family and deeply committed to Jesus and mission in Australia.Well, time for me to hit the sack. Horizontal is good when one gets tired!DAY 10Well a good sleep, caught a bit more on the trip to Toowoomba. We are joking about the freeway… there is none! That is, that we have yet seen in nearly 3 hours of driving up, down, all around, high mountain range here, forests, very beautiful and wonderful frankly.Eventually there will come a highway that is somewhat like  a freeway, then we can make better time. But now it’s clear why this part of the journey is so very long.We got out at a very high scenic overlook in one of the state forests of northern New South Wales and it was just gorgeous, took a lot of photos.Wendi seems good so far- a miracle re. her motion sickness. Our good driver Matt is ever cheerful.Several kangaroo warning signs, saw a very small one apparently hit by a truck or car along the state forest road.It’s all very green and thick woods in this shire, a lot of cattle ranches in the valleys in flat grassy areas or climbing hills. The mountains are of course just lush with trees and vegetation. Very, very beautiful.Here and there we stop for gas (petrol). We’ve a cooler with a few cold drinks and snacks in the van.So, stopping for lunch now and then onward.FINAL DAYS OF THE TOUR & EASTERFESTWell, I’m off the charts now… as I write it is actually Easter Sunday, which is tour DAY 13. So much going on I had little time to write and keep current.We arrived in Toowoomba Thursday night, checked into our hotel- another very comfortable one… this has been the nice hotel tour for sure -and had a late supper.Fri. morning we went to the hotel breakfast spot next door where most festival performers are for brekky (as they say here Down Under) and kept bumping into various old Aussie friends, promoters, musicians and U.S. and Canadian musos we’ve known, had at Cornerstone Festival and so forth. In fact that kept happening all weekend. Nice chats.Through the weekend I/we did several interviews for local or regional radio, GKB did the Fri. Big Top set (very well received) and again GKB played a short main stage set Saturday.I gave a devotional on Fri. (well-attended, glad of that) on why the Gospel is both in itself somewhat antagonistic and also why many Christians blow it (myself included at times) by delivering it in antagonistic ways -as well as some reasons I believe we mess up in our delivery.I will post my personal notes here as a blog, hopefully before flying back to Chicago.A great number of people said kind things about the message, I’m grateful for that.Main stage had a large crowd but a bit more “pop” in terms of music styles so we fried ’em a bit… but many warm responses, great seeing and later chatting with several old friends, some who had lived and served at JPUSA some years in the past… just great reacquainting and getting updated.Again, several Aussie fans who’d seen REZ and/or myself during former tours kept popping up with old T shirts,  which we signed, and they regularly shared encouragement. Very sweet.Today, HE IS RISEN Day was wonderful, great weather, interviews and REZ set went off good -and all on time which can be rare at festivals!John, Stu, Wendi and Roy rocked hard and well, really had fun. Wendi was not only great vocally but looked amazingly beautiful (well, nothing new there:) and people responded with a great deal of encouragement throughout.We did a lengthy album/cd/Shirt/etc. signing and meet-greet after the set, had a wonderful dinner and just enjoyed the evening, sitting and chatting with Fest organizers and one another.John and Stu leave early and fly back to Chicago tomorrow. Wendi, Ed, Roy and myself travel to Brisbane for a little rest, meeting some folks there in various ministry, then home to Chi-town the next day.We’ve only had sparse time or opportunity for good Web connections but I hope to post this with photos from Brisbane tomorrow.Had great chats and thanked Steve Grace and family- absolute gems throughout the tour, his sons took such excellent care of us re. lending gear (and setting up, tearing down, doing tech. stuff for us during shows right through Easter Fest) just a gifted, amazing family.Peter Hilton (John Smith’s agent), God’s Squad and John were all the BEST and took brilliant care of us… this tour was a pleasure on just about every level one might consider.We are praying about John visiting us in the States for a bit… that is where he did his dissertation on the Jesus Movement and became Dr. John Smith 🙂 He’s a gifted speaker, a Wesley and church, contemporary culture historian as well as a biker, deeply loves the outcasts and has a heart of gold. He and his sweet wife Glenna are gifts as are the Grace family, and so we may well link for a bit doing various ministry. Praying for God’s guidance on that.The Easter Fest staff were just exceptional in caring for us, serving with professionalism, kindness and consideration all weekend.As usual, right through the tour Australians have been very, very kind to us. I believe my last tour here was about 10 years past, so it was great to be back.My one regret is not being able to again tour New Zealand this time out… very good ministry tours and good friends there, REZ and myself and Wendi have toured there several times in years past -but if and when the Lord should make that possible, we’ll do so again.Well, time to look through the photos and early to bed. Right after I read those beautiful chapters about an empty tomb!So, now I write from Brisbane, at the hotel. We did indeed read through the four Gospel accounts of the Resurrection yesterday before bed, also a bit more in Acts chapter one and John 21. Powerful, wonderful stuff!I finally get to post this and some tour pics, do a bit more web-based work, nap, then a dinner here tonight with ministry friends, flying home to Chicago tomorrow.It was a nice ride, beautiful day in Brisbane weather-wise, and we are able to rest a bit before our long journey home.Again, THANK YOU for all who have and do pray for us… many tours, dates here and there in the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia and central Europe are already planned for this year so we SO appreciate your prayer support! All shows will be posted at soon as they are solid.With deepest gratitude for Jesus and all in His church who love and serve Him as part of the family, -Glenn


1 Comment

  1. glen i have been a fan of rez for over 25 years and finaly got to see them for the first time at easterfest this year what a blast you and the message the band has is so important to this world it has seen me thru many very hard times in my life so thanks for allowing jesus to been seen thru you guys and i hpoe to see you again this side of glory ,if not will catch in glory your brother danny

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