Former Glory

In a conversation with a well-known Christian leader many years ago I began to think about something that I had rarely (until then) considered. As we age we often wish for the earliest, best times of our lives to somehow return. We sort of want to experience the simplicity, the innocence, perhaps the “former glory” we were blessed with.At some point I realized I had been hearing the same basic thoughts from a lot of people. Some were only in their very early 30’s, had great families, solid local church and ministry experience and quite fruitful lives on all accounts- and yet they had that wistful longing in their eyes as they spoke of earlier times.For myself, things seemed to get progressively better rather than mundane or worse. I don’t think there is any sure-cure formula for a die-hard sentiment- and in some cases it is not a spiritual maturity but rather a sentimentality and being a bit stuck on a mountain-top experience with God and others that we want to continually visit.When Jesus took the three up the mountain, Peter immediately wanted to erect tents -and I think it may have been as much to hold on to the experience as it was to glorify God and the prophets that he had seen there!We cannot go back, nor should we. Nor can we!What is God calling you (and I) to do now, today, this very week in loving obedience to Him?Give thanks for the high-points, the moments of bliss and immediate presence of God, the fruitfulness and outpourings and times of refreshing of His Spirit. There will be more, but they will come by HIS hand, in HIS timing, as HE brings them about.Though I am a Wesley guy, I truly think it’s a hyper-Arminian view that thinks we somehow must move from honeymoon to honeymoon and not be thankful and focused on our marriage!I expect God has seen plenty of wood, hay and stubble piled up as opposed to gold, silver and precious stones… sometimes due to people working far too hard trying to gain some sort of former glory.The immediate presence of God is HERE, NOW, REGARDLESS of how we feel, regardless of what we produce.By the way, what I am doing now is in my view (and I truly believe God’s view) absolutely as important as anything I have done in the past. I’m fully convinced of that. Why?Because “obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams”… simple obedience to the best of our faith and sense of spiritual hearing THIS DAY is where our focus must be.Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful and blessed with all the grace God has brought me (and perhaps sometimes through me) over the years of ministry. Really, I get emails near daily from kind poeple about all this, but The Deal is my walk and fruitfulness this day.Ha, some days it’s doing the laundry, taking out the garbage, rehearsing songs (not my fave thing to do) or simply enjoying my grandsons. Why? Because these are the places God is and has me serving at the moment.As for the BIG MOMENTs? I’ve had plenty and expect I’ll have many more- but many of what I consider to be such moments would often seem so mundane and lacking in fireworks to most reading this you’d likely be surprised!The will of God, nothing more or less.-Glenn

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Change of Seasons

My entire life I have loved the change of seasons. I just love autumn in particular, but there is something about each of the four seasons that is a tonic to me. Change is not always easy but it is needed for real life. For too many, change is not only un-wanted but just too difficult or fearful to want to face. And yet life is loaded with situations, details, both good and bad things that are truly beyond and outside of our control… and unless we learn to flow with change and make peace with the reality of it- as well as at times, our own NEED for it, life will often be a royal pain in seasons of change. There are good and not-so-nice things about each season, in terms of weather and climate. But I find God is alive and moving in each of them. For myself- and both farmers and all others whether or not they know it, autumn is harvest time. It is a time when the grain and much produce is ready to bring to market and much of the world therefore is fed as a result. But of course any harvest takes work. Actual thought, budgeting of time and resources, making careful choices and consideration of detail is all involved for any successful harvest, storing and then use of the fruit of our labor. By now most reading this will understand I am not only thinking of food production, but also spiritual outreach and growth. There is a time for every purpose under heaven, and we do well to consider the time we are given and the times we live in, specifically with regard to loving prayer, thought, outreach and discipleship. Nobody but God knows how much time any one or all of us have left. Let’s use it wisely! Happy Harvest! -Glenn

Third German Tour Blog

Seeing Wendi and I fly home Thursday, I expect this will be my last update on our current tour in Germany.As per my Twitter/Facebook posts, the Creative Arts Europe Arts Session was just plain amazing! Jim and Anne Mills and staff did an exceptional job and the worship, workshops and final evening share time was blessed with truly beautiful displays of art, photography, dance, film, music, comedy and more. And then came the cool music/singalong/dance celebration at the end… just a riot of fun.I can’t say enough about the kind interaction, the fellowship and encouragement of so many Christians coming together for those days  of teaching and the potential of what both is and can be as a result.Wendi and I then went on to link with our longtime friends Carsten and Judith Turner, and Wieland Eberlie who have all been involved in Rez and/or GKB and myself solo tours for a number of years. We had another packed and kind experience at Cellarium in Knittlingen and then on to Calvary Chapel (Bible College) in Siegen where we linked up with more great friends (again) and a quite large crowd, especially for a Monday night!In each place people shared past and present grace where God was working in their lives. In each place a number of old friends came to say hello and encourage us.Today we went on to Wetzlar and ERF radio where Wendi and I took turns sharing a bit of our lives, about REZ, family and JPUSA experiences and ministry. Ingrid (our fine interview person and show host) had a great list of questions and we trust the edited show will encourage people throughout Germany, maybe even beyond.Tonight we met the kind producer and sweet host of tomorrow’s tv filming (again at ERF Wetzlar) talking over details for the taping. Funny that we still call it that as most everything is digital (no tape) these days.But I will do 3 acoustic blues songs, jam a bit with them on another and share brief bits of my life and about the JPUSA community.We go to Frankfurt on Thursday for the flight to Chicago.The next day I have a morning scheduling meeting and then Wendi and I are off to Cornerstone Farm and this year’s opening sessions of Project 12, our Bible/Discipleship school within the JPUSA community.The weather is starting to turn a little cool, here in Germany there are small signs of autumn in some of the trees… and our favorite time of year begins :)As usual Carsten and Judith have taken incredible care of us and we will be happy to come back for the GKB tour here during the last half of October and into November- Carsten is the tour promoter so we know it will be a great one.So- thank you for visiting my blog and double thanks for those of you who pray for us in all our journeys!Gratefully,-Glenn

SECOND SCHOENBLICK (GERMAN TOUR) BLOG

Wendi and I have been fully blessed by Jim and Anne Mills- directors of Creative Arts Europe, their staff, the staff at Schoenblick and of course all the excellent participants at the Arts Session. There are so many skilled, creative artists here, photography, film, sculptors, dancers, musicians and more… actors, comedians, the list goes on. They’ve got a great turn-out and many are offering nightly presentations that have been quite good!Tonight I was able to do a short set and share a brief message and the people were very gracious in their response. There are two of us teaching guitar, myself focusing on blues/electric and a brilliant Austrian bro. named Martin Moro who is doing the acoustic (and dobro) track.Martin is amazing, and tonight we were able to link up on the last song of my set (Fly Away) where I brought vocals and acoustic guitar and he played magnificent dobro. A very cool ending to a wonderful night.Each day a long list of teachers do 4 to 4 1/2 hours. It seems each class is being quite fun and productive, all seem to be enjoying the learning experience together.Wendi and I have had a great time meeting so many Christians in the arts from all over Europe, the worship has been wonderful and Jim’s messages encouraging and stimulating.The weather has been cool (which we like actually) but today the sun really made an appearance for the first time. Kids play outside our window in the Schoenblick compound soccer field, or on the zipline or sand and Noah’s Ark playground, etc.. Really fun to see.We are only now beginning to really sleep at night, and still take short naps or at least rests inbetween meetings, teaching sessions and such. Jet lag is alive and well in south-west Germany!So nice to have web access as too, the usual pile-up of email has not been an issue so far. We likely won’t have continual access as we travel to other towns for shows but when I can I’ll try to post a bit of news and at some point, pics.Thanks for stopping by and for your prayers and many kind encouraging emails and posts!-Glenn

You Could Have Given Us Directions…

But you’ve given us so much more- said Bill Murray in Quick Change to a guy who robbed him in NYC.It wasn’t that bad, but what a time Wendi and I had getting ourselves and our luggage here in Germany for tour!

But if I was praying for patience, God answered my prayers!
There are a few things about London’s Heathrow Airport I like very much… and a few I really dislike. But this is true about many such situations.
Wendi and I flew from Chicago to London, changed planes (or so we thought) to fly through to Stuttgart, Germany and then linked up with our friends Jim and Gerhard for the last hour and a half drive to Schoenblick Arts Session near Lorch in Schwabia.
At least, that was the plan!
The flight to London was quite good, smooth and even quick as it only took about 6 1/2 hours. But Wendi and I had to take an airport bus (with a LOT of other people) from one terminal to another, and as the buses were running so slow and there were so many people making connections all at once, it took a good forty minutes just to get the bus and get to the proper terminal.
When there, the security lines were so very long it took another half hour to get through, and another 15 minute walk to the gate. You guessed it- our flight had left long before we got to there!
Now I won’t mention the two airlines in question but to say they are two of the world’s largest and we have flown them both many times. Today was supposed to be one to the U.K., the second to Germany.
The second said it wasn’t their responsibility that we missed it, all remaining flights to Stuttgart were full… and sent us back to our original terminal again to talk with the original airline.
Terminal transit in Heathrow takes anywhere to 25 minutes (on a good day) to Lord-knows-how-long!
Back to where we started. The original airline said it was the bus company’s responsibility, that the airport delays weren’t their problem (technically quite true) and said they couldn’t help with either transit or accomodation should we be stuck in London.
As our tiredness began to take it’s toll, my poor wife’s arthritis kicked in and she began to cry asking what we were to do if they weren’t going to get us to Stuttgart?
With zero guarentee either we or our luggage (all clothes, music gear and most of Wendi’s medication) were going to make it to Stuttgart much less on to our final destination… it was a great question!
Frankly, the lady at the desk wasn’t having the best day. At this point I decided to ask her what other airlines besides these two had available flights we might swap to -and what WAS she prepared to do in order to get us to Stuttgart -today-?!
After her frowns and terse manner and a bit of computer checking, she found a two-flight combination on a third airline that would get us there six hours later. We had no other option so took it.
She made a point to tell us there was absolutely no gaurentee our luggage would get where we were going.
We then went slowly through the bus ride and yet another security check, to a 3rd terminal. Let’s just say we felt REAL secure!
Thankfully this terminal has what is one of our favorite breakfast restaraunts in Heathrow, and so we took our time and at least weren’t hungry any longer.
Eventually we boarded, flew to Dusseldorf, changed planes again and flew on to Stuttgart, met our friends and off to Schoenblick Arts Session we went.
We had called the guys from London so they knew what had happened and when we were actually arriving, but they of course also spent the entire day at the Stuttgart airport having to wait for us to get in.
I’m hoping the people at the conference enjoy the Chicago Bears t-shirt and my black track shorts- because that’s what I’ll be wearing for a bit!
Did we pass the test? Not with flying colors but by God’s grace we finally got where we needed to be. Dinner was great and sleeping was AMAZINGly good!
We praise God for His mercy and are so thankful for prayers so many of you reading this send to our Lord for us. There is no question that’s what sustains us in these crazy moments.
I’ll write more on the Arts Session in my next blog update.
Grace to you, -Glenn