Trusting all reading this had a great Thanksgiving (here in the U.S.). What follows comes from my own morning devotions today. I hope you find it worthwhile. Thanks for stopping by! -GlennThe Sermon on The Mount -Glenn’s Overview”The restoration of the church will surely come from a new kind of monasticism, which will have nothing in common with the old but a life of uncompromising adherence to the Sermon on the Mount in imitation of Christ. I believe the time has come to rally people together for this.”-Dietrich BonhoefferWithout question, others have done a far more masterful job than I will here. What follows are simple, blanket thoughts regarding one of Jesus’ most-quoted and important messages given to a large crowd on a mountainside:Mt. 5.1-16 (World English Bible Translation)5:1 Seeing the multitudes, he went up onto the mountain. When he had sat down, his disciples came to him.GK- Jesus actually sees people. Sadly, I and we do not always notice. He sat when He taught. The focus is on the Father and on the people. And His disciples came to Him. Sadly, at times we don’t and therefore do not hear His heart, His mind, His view on things.5:2 He opened his mouth and taught them, saying,GK- Jesus is rabbi, the Teacher, and not a mere academic nor orator/preacher/writer, but One Who truly communicates the very nature of God to His listeners. This is not about “wow-ing” the crowd, but about deep and needed information pertaining to spiritual, emotional and yes, physical health and of course, for the glorification of Our Father as we shall see.5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.GK- “Blessed” means to be envied, happy, truly satisfied. As we shall notice, all of the points Jesus makes are related to all people at various times in our lives. There are those times we are poor, empty, impovrished right down to our very breath (spirit). But there is a kingdom -coming-… and it is the kingdom of God where all who have loved and served Him in Christ will one day be!5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.GK- Early, middle or later in life mourning happens. Whether loss of loved ones in death, injustice, personal illness, job loss or any number of pains all of us face mourning. Jesus tells us comfort WILL happen in us.5:5 Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.GK- The gentle, the meek (which I have sadly often -not- been…) indeed have an inheritance, and that inheritance is promised by Jesus Himself. One cannot but think of those hearing this message, many who had zero power in terms of education, land ownership/rights, inheritance or any sort, political authority and on and on… and He is telling them all this -will- change not due to their own ability or strength but due to the Father’s will and in the Father’s timing.5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.GK- I have sometimes asked myself if I truly HUNGER… THIRST… for what God considers righteousness? Sadly, I often fail in this. And yet -being filled- with these things comes to us as we learn where our truest need really is! We-shall- be filled!5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.GK- True confession: for years I have prayed for the spiritual gift of mercy. Merciful is not how I would describe myself and it is a shame and deep need for others to receive a sense of the mercy of Jesus via me. And so I pray. Of course I want to receive mercy, who doesn’t?! But the point is to -be- merciful and I pray for growth and the Spirit Who gives gifts and produces such fruit in our lives to do His work in me for this.Again, Jesus tell us such will receive mercy…5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.GK- Wow. He gets deeper still! Pure in heart. One heart, one mind, focused on Him, His will, His Word, His way, His plan, His desires, His love for others. Pure. Holy. Genuine. Unsullied. Such -shall- see God!!5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.GK- Making peace brings blessings to the person who helps bring it about as well as to those who were either fighting or on the edge of warring. In our marriages, families, churches, workplaces and world there are just too many fighters and not enough peacemakers. I am personally convicted to pray and work in my own prayer life, mind and inserting myself into discussions and writing that -making- peace is part of Jesus’ call to His people! I think in my own country (U.S.A.) that peace-making is not all that near the top of our list of priorities. It’s more about personal gain (see the book of James about why fighting and war exists) than peace between people. God help us find this blessing by working for peace! Help -me- be part of peace-making rather than another round of fighting and resultant pain! The true children of God are at core, about peace. How quickly we forget this!5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.GK- What strikes me here is how often we as individuals and groups, consider ourselves righteous/holy/correct simply because we are persecuted. Not so! But alas, this is how we are at times tempted to interpret this verse. It is about Jesus, about the righteousness of God, not our own righteous behavior. It seems to me the core of the persecution Jesus is talking about has to do with living out His love in relationships and societies where others seek something or someone other than God’s love and will.5:11 “Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake.GK- What always leaps out at me here is “my sake”. It’s all about Jesus. For HIS sake we at times may get blamed for this or that. False stuff, hard knocks due to our allegience to Christ are simply part of our road. He’s worth it.5:12 Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.GK- I suppose a root point here is “prophets”. People don’t like being told to repent, to change, to get their relationship with God in order and often neither do I! So if and when we are speaking truth (even in the real and super love of God) there are going to be detractors, angry people. Consider John the Baptist’s end and face the reality of this if you are going to be salt and light in a pagan society.5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.GK- In the most basic sense, of what value are you and I? To God, we are fully, totally, always valuable regardless of what we do or don’t do, regardless of whether or not we “produce”! Having said this, it is also true that in terms of humankind, our works speak louder than our thoughts, words or intentions. Salt indeed gives flavor, seasons, preserves, burns away germs and infection (think “gargling with salt” when one has a sore throat, etc.) and is important for life. Light is essential for good health as well (the good stuff from the sun’s rays) as the simple ability to not stumble in darkness- literally and spiritually. God is light and the entrance of His Words bring light. The New Testament calls Christ’s followers “children of light” and “children of the day”.5:14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden.GK- See my above comments. Salt and light must be genuine, authentic and present for a real life. And there is the “shine”, the reflective properties of light. We are like the moon- we have no light of our own but relfect the sun… or literally, The Son. Trying to hide or bury the salt and light, always and forever remaining silent, refusing our various prophetic callings (the varied ways we reflect Jesus Christ in our daily life) is not only a cop-out and irresponsible, it reveals a lack of the very love of God within us. The more we are filled with Him the more we will sense ways to bless others around us -regardless of personal cost.5:15 Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house.GK- Jesus continues with His “light” metaphor. Here again we don’t see “secret service” Christians but Christ-followers who stand out in bringing God’s love, light, truth to those around them. It is NOT “the pastor’s… or other professional’s job”… it is the daily, supernaturally natural life of all believers to relfect Jesus where we are to those around us. I don’t hear Jesus saying we should be obnoxious, rude or jumping up on a stage every chance we get. What I hear Him saying here is something along the lines of “Of COURSE you are going to reflect Me as you daily follow”! But do we? Today, am I? God help us!5:16 Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.GK- This is -not- about salvation by works, nothing anywhere near it! Jesus is saying that humankind NEEDS to recognize our life in Him. A genuine salvation experience with Christ will ultimately result in our living out the Good News which means (Jesus’ words, not mine) your and my “good works” will be seen. They will be noticed. In the end, the question is “what motivates these people to live like this, to sacrifice, share, give and love like they do?” And of course the answer is our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, a witness is offered through you and I… and the true end to all this is the glory of God! Jesus always and always points to God the Father, always teaches and acts in order to turn hearts, minds and actions towards the Father. ALL of what He has been teaching them and therefore you and I about thoughts, beliefs, difficult circumstances, actions and even the painful trials coming to His followers while we witness to Him on this earth, such a calling, such a lifestyle and even through the pains of “Jesus is coming, these blessings ARE COMING” but are not always each moment ours yet. They are wrapped in need, want, desire, wrapped in the “coming but not yet!” All of this boils down to glorifying God. This IS our life, LIFE. “For Christ IS our life” (Col. 3.4)and the glory of God our goal as it was/is His!
In a very good conversation I recently found myself commenting that on plenty of occasions I’ve found prayer for a person to be more effective than direct talk.I also recalled a number of situations through the years, especially early-on, when my wife joined with a few loving, trusted friends and rather than confront me directly on a point (which had been done several times with little success) they simply prayed for God to touch my heart, mind and attitudes in such a way as to bring about real enlightenment (mine!), repentance where needed and true character/behavioral change. And it worked :)The longer I live, the more the Lord convicts me about thinking and praying far more than direct confrontation.Mind you, there are those times when our leadership team ask me to deliver the difficult news (and of course we all get our turn).This is part of a leadership calling which is anything but fun -but there are times when it falls to me as to most anyone in such service to God and people.ALL of us get defensive, some (at certain times, or if the message is delivered not to our liking) are more defensive than others. Of course some smile a bit and act as if they’re listening but will not deal honestly with the issue in question. Often the thinking is “I’m right, you’re wrong, why do I have to listen to this” and that’s the end of it in a person’s own mind.But neither I nor anyone reading this has ever thought such thoughts, right?!In other words, we avoid change and few of us like confrontation, even those that God either calls for or allows to help bring needed change in our life.We each have the component of free will and only when God the Holy Spirit convicts and one is willing to accept the truth- sometimes ugly as it is about me or you- only at such times will a real spiritual transformation take place.I’m of course aware that some simply read the Truth in the Bible and apply it, or read a devo, hear a teaching, attend a seminar, conference or get counsel in another form, but relational person-to-person ministry is clearly a scriptural part of how we hear truth, learn to accept and apply it to our life.There are a number of great tools godly Christians may employ to help their brothers and sisters encounter God, hear His voice for themselves, grow and change.At times I (or you, perhaps) are -not- the person to bring the information to a particular person, couple or church.Fine! Really. Why?God is perfectly capable of bringing His sure Word to anybody, and He’s not bound by His church (people) as to whether He’s able to bring that Word no matter how numb, thick, even outright self-centered and rebellious they/we may be.He IS sovereign.At the same time as stated above, the Book is loaded with direct preaching, teaching, writing of letters and other means of person-to-person ministry to individuals and groups.Sometimes we’ve wronged people in our delivery, timing or even re. the facts of the situation. Nobody is mistake-free in communication… and I mean nobody.Sometimes we may have been (put bluntly) “casting pearls before swine”. A hard word, but one Jesus spoke to His disciples. There are those who just will not face up to what the most basic verses of Scripture mean in terms of their own need to deal with sin. It does not always matter who, how or when the truth is delivered, they are just not ready to face God or themselves. It’s important to not take it personally if at all possible, for if such is the case their beef is not with the messenger, but with Him. Returning evil for evil doesn’t edify anyone.Jesus tells us that the prodigal “came to himself”. A “self-revelation” with any truth in it comes from the Lord. When that happens, self-awareness and a real sense of humility, perhaps even remorse and despair can move us towards God and His people rather than into hiding or fighting and lashing out.But it can go either way and of course, does.I and many reading this have often found intensive prayer for a person, couple or group is the best way to lovingly serve them.Indeed, this can be a cop-out with you or I simply wanting to be liked and seeking to avoid difficult communication, issues and people. It is also, at times, the very wisdom of God to intercede for a person and watch God move.There are those who enjoy challenging, rebuking people. Believe it or not, I am not one of them. But I have learned that the real point is to be loving and consistent in prayer for those I don’t believe I can or should personally talk with.Certainly there are those in ministry “who have been burned”. I hear it all the time all over the world- from leaders nearly as often as congregational members. Guess what? ALL of us have burnt and been burnt. Yes.So what do we do? Withdraw? Hide out? Pretend “the elephant in the room” isn’t there? Quit ministry because of the pain involved?It is at this juncture that some should speak, some remain silent and all pray, pray and pray for God’s wisdom and grace. Often the good stuff happens by our talking with godly people who love the person(s) in question, who know the Word of God and who perhaps have a closer relationship to the extent they might accept good input from them.We must each and all check our own motives as well.Is my/your thinking, position on the matter, attitude toward the person(s) sourced in God’s loving care for them… or is it irritation, frustration at something in them you just don’t like? Is it a Bible doctrine, theological disagreement, is it methodological? Is the idea of direct discussion simply to get your way and ultimate control in the relationship or regarding the issue?One must humbly ask one’s self such questions. Love and truth are the key and must be the key focus.Prayer. Honest soul-searching. More prayer. Genuine care for the person is first of all expressed to God as it is His very own concern.As I age, I find I am no more happy about confrontation than ever- but I’m a great deal more apt to pray, be quiet or say far less than I think I know. I am working at being a much better listener and of course, trust the wisdom and gifts of others to minister to folks when I should not or cannot.Yet prayer is THE thing I do more for those who seem to be in need. They may never know I was even involved in such ministry to them. The point is spiritual growth, forward movement toward Jesus and His Word applied in a person’s life.In the end, it’s God “truthing in love”. Sometimes… sometimes, you and I are called to do it as well, but let’s not neglect the grace, power and effectiveness of prayer as opposed to direct talk.Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn
WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU WERE CALLED TO ACCOUNT?Interesting question ‘eh?If you’re like me you’d rather be CALLING someone to account for their words, behaviors, choices, doctrines and relationships… rather than being the one “on the hot seat”!I bet most reading this are like me.And one thing I learned long ago: if it’s been a loooong time since someone asked you about something in your general life and/or behavior, beliefs and such where you really couldn’t (or decided it best to not) blow them off and just walk away or break fellowship… how did you respond to them and how truly accountable are you… really?That old double-standard of talking to or about this or that person or group re. negatives… how often are you actually on the receiving end of such yourself? Have you considered sometimes you’ve earned it? Is there any truth in the words we’d rather not hear?I’m not even thinking about the specific issue in question, not whether you or “they” are or were right or wrong, or who was 60 percent correct or 20 percent or whatever. I’m not talking about winning or losing an argument. I’m really not even talking about gossip, slander or what the old King James version names as “backbiting”. Interesting word, that :)Rather- if it’s rather rare… maybe even super-rare that you have to re-think your thoughts, choices, behavior, even spiritual positions on things it’s also likely you are removed from the sort of deeper fellowship that would engender spiritual growth as God would have it in your life. Or perhaps your relationships, even friendships in Christ are more superficial than discipling.It often stings when someone cautions us. We don’t like our “boat rocked”. As I say, it’s far easier to rock others than to be rocked!But in the end, there are two (among a lot more…) verses that come to mind from God’s Word:Eph. 5.21 “…and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”Ever asked yourself how much true reverence for Jesus you have in relation to how truly submitted to He and His godly people you actually are? I have. Ouch. But if we see things God’s way, a really good ouch 🙂 Crosses are like that.1 Pet. 5.5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”Note: less-spiritually-mature-and-experienced AND “ALL OF YOU” meaning gifts, calling and position isn’t the core matter here, only one of them. And the core of the core in all this? Humility. Yep. Another good ouch!All of us must learn to listen, pray, take other’s views to heart and take the time and gain the humility to “search the scriptures [daily] to” find out if what an individual or group is saying to -you- is true or not, is actually based in the Word of God… and then if you don’t have more than a rather non-challenging relationship with friends… (huge issue there!) I would suggest you ask someone with the love, wisdom of the Lord and His Word who actually knows you and has the sense as well as courage to tell you straight whether or not the input directed to you should be acted upon.It is this area where my title “103” comes in.Lots of believers have a genuine salvation, an authentic walk with Jesus Christ and take time to pray, study the Bible, attend a local fellowship of Christ-followers where the Word is both preached and the people seek to apply it in all areas of their lives and service. Excellent! And such a sad deal when you are a believer who lacks any of these!And yet, many of us camp on a spiritual plateau due to need of personal revival, renewal, a fresh move of God the Holy Spirit in our lives.I think prayer (many forms…), solitude, quiet reflection, excellent books and writings online, etc., audio/video, web forums, chatrooms and various methods of spiritually-focused schools (be they organic, local church-based, Bible college, seminaries, what-have-you) are all wonderful parts of our growth process. BUT… BUT… BUT…:Far too many Christians love these methods and more due to a relative safety due to distance allowed within them. Even in the midst of several of these which include accountability measures, one can often ignore or “duck” the crosses of someone disagreeing with you or challenging you to a greater depth or integrity, or merely to learn more about an important area of God’s heart and your own life.Let me add that NO MATTER THE DELIVERY OF THE TRUTH, truth is often the last thing I want to hear when it has to do with me having to change. How about you?Therefore, some of us camp out on a sort of spiritual island by ourselves… and wonder why we are so lonely, “always mis-understood”, afraid, and really disengaged from the actual spiritual battles God would have us strengthended through. Yes, I said “through”. For if you only hear, read and walk with those you are comfortable with- how much of The Comforter do you really think you have in your life?God the Holy Spirit loves you and I, and will frequently use “enemies”, “false friends” and those we think (rightly or wrongly) are “lording it over us” to bring us back to Himself, to His Word (especially on the core issues in question) and for the maturing and solidifying of our own faith and spiritual growth.The more you avoid such encounters the less you grow up into Him Who is the Head, that is, Jesus Christ!Why?Because God uses books, internet writings, audio, video, film, nature and plenty of other means by which to speak into our lives and cause growth in His character, nature and in fruitful service to Him and others… but He also uses people in our direct, sometimes daily life, to speak truth to us. And by the way, whether that truth is spoken in love or not!Paul rightly tells us we don’t fight flesh and blood. Has he ever been in a deeper relationship with another human being… church Christian, ANY Christian or non-believer??! Ha! Of course he was. But we often would rather fight, get defensive and park on our own position than pray, search our hearts, search the Word of God for -truth- about ourselves and our situation than to admit we may need to re-think and perhaps change.By the way, I do not write this as a pastor or a position of Christian leadership- rather as a brother in Christ just as much in need of input as any individual Christian! Please know that.None of us is God. Not one of us has a full, revealing spiritual mirror, but if and when we are able to hear and actually in a right heart, respond to input from godly people who love us enough to bring correction… we can continue a disciple’s path of spiritual growth.I have heard plenty of input in my life about my own shoddy Bible interpretation, plenty of poor sermons, songs that I liked that others thought worthy of leaving off cds, harshness/lack of love, inability to communicate well (and of course communication is the main thing I do!!) and on and on.I have been loved, and also loved inadvertenty by folks who would rather have seen me driving a garbage truck than being in any position of leadership or speaking into their lives. And by the way- I have been greatly blessed and benefited from all and each of these.Paul writes: (Rom. 8.28) We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.Nice verse. Do I, do you, do we Believe this when it comes to someone disagreeing with us or challenging us regarding an area of our life?I am convinced many Christians are stunted in spiritual progress due to lack of relationships where genuine, godly and wise people speak into their life. Further, they either have never begun such a practice or are so out-of-practice with such input they consistently close up, close down and separate from those who seek to help them face “blind spots”, or perhaps areas of actual rebellion against God.You can dress this up any way you like but in the end, if it is true about you (as it has been from time to time with me!), I suggest taking steps of linking with someone and paying the price of a genuine spiritual accountability.But if you are looking for non-stop ice cream and cake experiences with God and His people… and if you are not willing to get out of your boat of safety and security (my/your old life and comfort zones) I suggest you stop listening to Jesus who is calling you out on the water.”My sheep hear my voice and I know them… and they follow Me.”When’s the last time you were called to account? How did you react? How might you do better in this area?I have benefitted GREATLY from such input. It rarely “feels” nice. But chastening that really comes from God- even via others:Years ago my boat began to be rocked as well as finding myself out on the water from time to time. Hebrews 12 sums it up rather well I think:11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14 Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled.Let’s rock! Love, -Glenn
The following is a final update from the last week of tour. At that point we only had good internet connections at the very end… I was in need of sleep- so I am posting this from Chicago. Jet-lag time but is it SO WONDERFUL to be home with my sweet wife, family and JPUSA!!!Again, thanks to Carsten, Judith, each show promoter, pastor and person who made this tour so special for us.I wrote this bit-by-bit as we traveled, and as I preview it, there are a LOT of smile faces in it due to a great deal of joy for a lot of people and events God brought us.The first of these updates was about everyday scenes we see on this tour, and then I begin the show/service posts with the Swiss portion of the tour:It is clear that like the Engish and many other Europeans, Germans love to get out in the open air countryside to play football (soccer), bike or just walk.We’ve seen a lot of people walking their dogs or just taking a stroll on the many walking paths and forest trails near the roadways.I’ve been on tour here countless times but the other thing I’ve noticed this trip is the huge increase in both solar and wind power throughout the country.In fact right near the autobahn we passed by a rather large fenced-off field that unlike most fields (lots of them too…) where we see harvested corn and grain, etc., this one was fully stocked with solar panels. There was a little house there where I assume the charging batteries and distribution link is stored.From barns, sheds and homes in farmland to little villages and larger cities there are solar panels everywhere.Wind turbines large and small dot the countryside all over.America has a lot to learn, God help us.SWITZERLANDThe Art & Ministry School has a sweet history. It sits on top of a beautiful Swiss hillside in Walzenhausen, just outside that little village actually.Today I was able to share with the students there. What I spoke about was the need for all Christ-followers to walk close and closer to Jesus, to be in prayer, in the Word of God daily, to produce excellent art BUT to realize that God’s desire and focus for ALL of His children is first our relationship to Him, second to other people. My core point was that relationships are the only thing we take past the grave, and that relationships to Him and His people are THE ONLY things that will last for eternity for Christians. Therefore create great art, but face the fact that relationships are more difficult to attain than great art work (be they music or other art forms) and these are the greatest need in each of our lives.They seemed to really hear me- and good translation helped too, ha!Bodensee (in English, The Boden Sea) is a very large lake surrounded by cities and small vilages in both Switzerland and Germany as it’s right at the border. There are mountains rising up from it on both sides. It’s a much-visited tourist area. The Art Music School sits high above the Bondensee on the Swiss side. BEAUtiful.ZURICHA very good bro. and small staff do a monthly Blues Service in a famous, mostly modern/restored church in downtown Zurich named the Water Church -as it sits on a beautiful river.You will see pics from there and the rest of this blog via the link at the end.As the acoustics are amazingly projected in the sanctuary they asked for GKB to do an acoustic set which we did.It was a rather hip, modern service with far more attending than I expected on a Thursday night!A Swiss Project 12 grad (Suzanne), a longtime friend (Rez show promoter in Zurich), church members, other Rez and GKB fans and some curious blues lovers as well as Daniel and most of the AMS students all showed up!What was cool was as the bro. led through the service, he interviewed me on the connection between blues, struggle, what we do in serving the poor and Jesus bit by bit along with an excellent interpreter so everyone understood the points. I shared about our Cornerstone Community Outreach work in Chicago among other biblical and related issues. This was very well-received and quite innovative in terms of how he led the service. Cool stuff!After a late snack we drove back to Walzenhausen. The stars are bright above us… so beautiful.KEMPTENNext day we said goodbye to Danu & kind staff and students at AMS and rolled back into Germany to Kempten where we met the opening band and kind local promoter- who came to follow Jesus about 5 days short of 16 years to the day of this show as the result of a Rez Band concert he had attended in Germany! Amazing grace :)What a night in Kempten!We had excellent sound, great crew and sound tech, nice people in the opening band and as per every stop on this tour a really sweet & responsive audience. The (in English) State Theatre is a great modern place and the atmosphere was quite nice- very hip venue.We had close to a full house, one of the largest crowds but also some of the nicest people this tour. Just great talking with so many after the show.Our dear friends David & Regina Harmon came and visited too, icing on the cake 🙂 Well, they did bring some special frosted cookie-cakes that I must not eat- but the boys will love ’em! Sweet- truly.There were a number of non/pre believers in the place, one of whom was clearly drinking too much but who said he loved the show and that his “heart was deeply touched” by what I said and what we played. Grace. I only hope he didn’t drive home!If we have wifi tomorrow I will try to post this, though I totally forgot to take photos tonight… arrggghh!Next morning Carsten asked Roy and I if Daniel had given us some cheese to bring along as when he’d opened the van in the morning an overpowering scent of cheese hit him! I happen to love cheese (Wisconsin German boy) but neither Roy nor I smelled it nor knew anything about a gift of it.Turned out the garbage can needed emptying… for a while I thought perhaps 4 guys in a van for 2 weeks… cheese… hmmm?!The inn in Kempten was comfortable, an old Bavarian place with nice beds and warm comforters… but very squeeky floors!Roy & I shared a room and I was sound asleep during an afternoon nap when he got up. He apologized later for squeeking around the room but I hadn’t heard a thing… being tired and hard-of-hearing is sometimes a gift :)Lots of shooting and rock ‘n roll without ear protection for too many years. But I’m grateful for all of it!Just as we were loading the van (which even I could smell the cheese in this a.m. until we took the garbage out…) to leave I met a wonderful fat brown cat who hung out in the parking place at the inn. He was beautiful and clearly king of the place but very nice 🙂 Come to think of it, perhaps the cat was hanging around looking for mice that may have come to find the cheese.Then the innkeeper came out and kindly gave us a present of landejager (hunter’s sausage) which happens to be Wendi and my favorite sausage! Yahoo and yum.ON TO FULDA AREA SHOWWe started the day with a bit of sun and a wind that picked up as we went. On the autobahn one could see darker skies in some places. Eventually we passed through a medium-heavy rain.All through this tour we’ve seen beautiful autumn colors mixed with pine or part-pine forests.I’ve lost count of the hawks we’ve seen, both flying and perched watching fields for food.We have also occasionally seen deer, two this morning feeding in a crop field not 30 yards from the roadway.Some of the woods are now opening up as we are into November. The leaves have fallen or are falling with rich color everywhere.As I mentioned before there are many, many shooting stands throughout the country where deer hunters will take many deer for the table and to protect crops.I’m so glad I will be able to continue that tradition and also with regard to conservation in a couple weeks.God gives us many gifts and also responsibilities. Stewardship of land, water, air, fish, fowl and all wildlife is part of His call for people to rightly steward His creation.Much to be done… And we must remember that there is always much grace in each harvest.Two other cool bits of eye candy this tour: sometimes we pass a handful or larger stands of the German version of birch trees, white splotched with black -so pretty.The other are the many bright yellow trees among the evergreens. They are as tall and pretty as the pines only they change color in autumn unlike the evergreens which do not. God does such wonders with His creation!We’ve also enjoyed seeing small groups of swans both in Germany and Switzerland. What amazingly elegant birds.FULDAThe fulda show went quite well, good crowd, wonderful staff, local promoter and reaaly good discussions after.Quite a few people told us how much they enjoyed the show though a good number were clearly not Christians and several of them were hitting the bottle rather hard.Roy & Ed did rocking solos, the Rez and deeper blues got very strong responses.KARLSRUHESo we were on the road right after the show, at 11 p.m. and in about 2 hours reached Karlsruhe where Ed & Roy got to sleep in, Carsten & I off to the a.m. church service where I did a couple songs and brought the message.Many nice comments after the service, then we had a nice brunch and celebration of Judith’s birthday. Roy and I took naps, then back for the evening show, last one of the tour.Fabrik 88 is the name of this very cool Ev. Free church in Karlsruhe. Excellent pastor, worship team & staff and fine congregation with a good number of visitors for the a.m. service, again old friends who had served at JPUSA came too, nice to be together!The evening Fabrk 88 show was a great finish to a sweet GKB tour. Again, very kind and enthusiastic people came. The good pastor & staff were truly wunderbar :)This was a fabulous tour on all levels. Carsten did an excellent job and with German precision and Christian love took wonderful care of us. He and his wife Judith are gifts to us as they are to so many others!We boarded the plane for Zurich, transfered to another there and home to Chicago. A bit of turbulance off and on in the last couples hours of flight- but this is very much like life is it not? Safe in Chicago at last :)Many thanks to EACH local promoter, musical gear provider, accomodation and all who came out to our shows and the services. SUPER thanks to our dear families and spiritual family at JPUSA & Grrr Records as well as friends throughout the world who have been praying and sending kind words our way :)So- here are a load of pics I took the final week of tour. And thanks for stopping by!http://gkaiser.posterous.com/final-gkb-german-swiss-tour-picsWith God’s love & a grateful heart, -Glenn, for GKB
So you have likely read my blog over at http://www.glennkaiseronline.wordpress.com
What a wonderful, blessed tour!! Enjoy, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn
Yahoo, another great hotel with wifi! And the show tonight went very well indeed, near Stuttgart in Neuffen, really nice people both staff and crowd, and a lot of what we’ve seen all along in this tour- but a few more first-timers as well.We played at the Shutzenhaus which is literally a shooting house club for outdoor sportsmen, shooting and hunting but also they do the occasional show there as well.So tonight was a blast. Ed was especially crazy good and I told him laughingly we must help him avoid excessive caffine intake from now on 🙂 Not really, just a fun night.Roy and I decided the stage sound was cookin’ as well, so anyhow, a good situation.The opening band was very good too, and nice guys.We took several pics of a huge military shell there as well… a boomer for sure!You can find fresh pics as usual at:http://gkaiser.posterous.comThanks for visiting here, Grace! -Glenn
Here are more pics from tour. One or two from Sulzbach/Murr this morning, the rest from the Shutzenhaus show tonight. Fun place… pretty area indeed. Big honkin’ shell, nice crowd, beautiful view from up top of a ridge outside the venue at Neuffen.
Started the day in Noerdlingen, drove through many little villages all through the trip over to Suzlbach/Murr to play (our second time in a couple years) at a club called Belinda. They have some interesting acts there and I suppose from one point of view, we are one of them :)As a matter of fact, my grandfather came to America from Schwäbisch Gmünd area through which we drove today. Beautiful farmland and the autumn colors were out with sun most of the trip. It’s clear why so many German immigrants who had farmed in Germany settled and built farms in Dodge County where I was born and raised in central Wisconsin.Rather full house tonight, very responsive and just had a great set, and a long one. They wanted 2 hours so on this occasion we gave them just a little more than that… and I am ready for bed now, ha!You can see my latest pics from earlier in the day and the evening show over at the usual spot:http://gkaiser.posterous.comEnjoy and nighty-night! -Glenn
OK… nice wifi tonight, after a long set, great responsive crowd… but the day began at our Noerdlingen guest house, their cool cat, houses and other things in their village just on ehe edge of Noerdlingen. Then onto the club (Belinda) for the evening show. Very good night. And boy am I ready to rrrrreeesssstttt! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by! -Glenn
The colors of autumn are getting really vibrant here in Germany. Just beautiful as we tour around the country. We’ve also seen a number of deer, usual single but a few days ago we saw a large herd together, perhaps 12 or 14 running across a field toward a parcel of thick woods.There are shooting stands everywhere, and so I am dreaming of deer season in Illinois in a few weeks. No time for bow this year, but God knows.We’ve also seen a lot of beautiful hawks all over.Weather has been somewhat overcast, somewhat sunny… depends on the moment :)We had an amazing time in Pohleim! Such a sweet family we stayed with again.Their son had been saving coins to give us to pass on to the poor (for our shelter in Chicago) as he also did last year! And the crew was great. A small but super appreciative crowd showed up and were really kind to us on the night.They’d asked for a mix of bluesrock and acoustic music so we designed the set for that and they were quite responsive. Many great discussions afterwards as always, a lot of new friends and older REZ fans as well so doing a few REZ tunes fit nicely.I slept better than any night yet. Next morning we ate breakfast and moved on to Remscheid and the Jesus Freak’s Kultshock club.Last time GKB played at their venue it was very small, tight and black, like many older clubs both in Europe and the U.S.. They had moved to a much larger facility, have amazing sound, lights, stage, bar and backstage areas now, and the audience was as usual, very kind to us.Had a couple extended jams on the evening, got into intense rocking on one and deeper blues on the other. Fun stuff.I spoke with a number of old friends as well as some new faces, various old-time REZ heads and some blues lovers also.A sweet friend whom Wendi and I met at Schoenblick Arts Gathering a month ago in the south of Germany came as well and 3 other musician friends also came along, driving clear over from Belgium! We shared some great conversation and who knows, it may be GKB will eventually do a show or two in Belgium at some point. If and when it happens we’ll post the info. as usual at http://www.glennkaiser.com and also at http://www.grrrrecords.com -at both sites in the shows section.Christoph and crew were wonderful and he and his wife have a cool bulldog named Olivia you will see in the pics. The link for all the pictures is further down. Woke up in the morning to a cool rain and ended the day in sunshine. German weather is like Chicago!The time changes (spring forward, fall back) so we get an extra hour of sleep. NICE. The longest drive comes tomorrow (Sunday) for a GKB set in the evening. So it’s breakfast and hit the road.Two more shows and then a day off with our longtime friend Danu Wisler, director of the Artist and Ministry School Walzenhausen, Switzerland. He’s a great bro. and longtime rocker I always love seeing. Then on to a Blues Service in Zurich the next day.Let’s just say we’re not sitting around too much on this tour :)!I am looking at pics of my Wendi (nice chat with her today) and grandsons. Praying for each of my sweet daughters and sons-in-law, missing them all. We are now half-through the tour.So I will add to this blog tomorrow late after the Sunday night show if we have wifi, and post pics from all three of the these concerts.And if we don’t have the internet at our accomodation I’ll post the at the next opportunity after that.OK- I’m now continuing this blog Sun. night after the show in Noerdlingen. Very cool old city with large gates through which we pass to get to the venue and back to the home where we are staying. Again, REALLY nice people as usual! And a kind crowd tonight. Every song they clapped until it seemed to me too long… but a lot of smiles, again some old friends came up (from Munich) and just a great night for us here.I had another fine chat with my sweet Wendi and it seems all are doing well and having a great All Saints time.After chatting and doing autographs tonight I went out to the van to just cool off and rest my voice. There was a tiny 3 wheel vehicle parked right behind us from a bro. who’d come to the show. You’ll see the pics, one with Roy standing next to it so you’ll get the sense of size. What a trip! Then again if he had Kultshock’s diesel pump… well, just have a look at the picutres.The bro. came out and we talked about it and laughed. Electric, gets about 100 kilometers for about a buck fifty U.S.! And charges up fully in 4 hours, does about 63 kph, but talk about cheap. One-man car but what a hoot!Judith, Carsten’s sweet wife joined us today for tour, I have included a pic of them doing our merch table from tonight. Her birthday is coming up in a week, so that will be cool.Another great crew, pastor and nice audience… we are so blessed and deeply appreciate everyone’s prayers.Tonight we are doing a show in Sulzbach/Murr in a mainstream club where we saw a lot of good people last GKB tour. Should be good.So, I will post the pics from the past 3 days here:http://gkaiser.posterous.com/Grace to all, -Glenn