Blues on Halloween :)

My latest, somewhat “found-object” guitar build is a 4 stringer- 1
bass string and 3 guitar strings to be played with a slide (it’s
fretless).

So this was an idea I’d had for awhile, but I’d never built one
exactly like it before.

All it needs are silver thumbtacks as position markers along the neck
(facing the player) which a friend I built it for can add and place as
he sees fit.

As my friend and his wife are moving I wanted to gift him so asked
what he wanted in a guitar of this type. He likes, plays, has built
and bought cigarbox and canjo guitars, so…

I only had to change a couple things in terms of the build but the
basic recipe was:

Round wooden body and sides, metal top, double-round wooden neck. For
this I found a truly ugly Halloween bowl at a thrift shop, sanded it
down to the wood and cut a throwaway piece of brown sheet metal for
the soundboard top. The neck consists of a dumpster-ed wooden mop
handle.

Strings are steel, I believe G bass string, guitar strings appx. A, G
and B. Only the B is a plain steel (un-wound) string.

I used el-cheapo 1/4 inch eyebolts, washer and wingnuts for tuners,
drilled the slots at angles for access and to direct the strings
somewhat left and right, left and right along both necks and into the
eyebolts. I always drill just under 1/4 inch and keep the slots quite
tight, then use a screwdriver or needle-nose pliers to tune because
these things really hold well once you’ve stretched the strings out…
but are tight enough that you really need more than your fingers to
tighten them. Then you finger-tighten the wingnut for each string.
Very simple, cheap and they work amazingly well.

I used metal hose clamps near the bridge and nut, tightening them well
to hold the two parts of the “neck” together.

You can see in the photos I used a larger bolt as a “bridge” and two
smaller eyebolts with a nut on each in place of a standard guitar
“nut”. For a “tailpiece”- as the wooden bowl is slanted, I thought it
good to use a hinge, 3 drywall screws into the bowl and feeding the
bass string through one hole, the middle strings both through the
middle hole and highest string through the third hole. Very simple and
works great.

Center of bridge to nut(s) are 25 1/4 inch scale.

In that he wanted brown, I went for brown stain on the body and neck
with silver hardware throughout and only varied from this using black
drywall screws for the tailpiece and also to affix the neck to the
metal top via two more of those. Under the metal top is a 1×2 inch
block of wood that runs the length of the inside of the bowl. I
pre-drilled holes, one through each neck and through the metal top and
slightly into the wood brace inside, ditto six holes around the top
and into the bowl, then screwed all in to hold everything together.
The extra hole up by the tuners is for a thicker string or strap
attachment.

No pickup in this one but he may add something later if desired.

So there you go… mad scientists r us 🙂 These pics from my phone are
a little sketchy, and the long shot doesn’t do it justice re. the
overall look in that the body and neck truly seem to be the right size
and matching overall. The bowl was cut down from 12 to 10 inches and
has a nice bit of weight to it so the guitar seems quite comfortable
to play.

I’m very pleased with looks, sound and playability.

Grace! -Glenn

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GK Solo Blues- @ The Stand, Oxford, Michigan Sat. Nov. 5

Had a great time with old friends and new at Fat Calf Cafe, Chicago
this past weekend. Two dear friends from Germany are visiting JPUSA
and also came along with Wendi and I to the show. Maron did a
wonderful set of songs as always and the many chats with people before
and after were very encouraging.

This next Saturday, November 5th Wendi and I head north to Oxford,
Michigan to share the bill in a benefit show for veterans and their
families. I’m thankful to do a solo set on the night… so many in
need. We see more and more vets at our own inner-city shelters
(Cornerstone Community Outreach, Chicago). Love, healing,
encouragement and practical help are essential! Oh- if she’s feeling
up to it I may get Wendi up to join me on a Rez unplugged tune…

You can find details for this event via http://grrrrecords.com in the
Shows section. Hope to see some of you there!

Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 -Glenn

Recording & Misc. Update

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So I’ve been writing a lot of songs (various styles and kinds)
recently and have more in my head I’ve just not recorded demos of yet.
All in good time…

Had a nice day today recording at Grrr Records studio. Ed set me up,
out came my Gibson lap steel, some of my wonderful pedals and one of
the sweet little Trimmed & Burnin’ amps. I played some slide guitar
for something called “The Martyr’s Project” that also features Phil
Keaggy and other friends. More on that when it’s time to tell the
story -but I was invited to slash away at a song and did so today.
Hopefully they can use some of what I did on the tune.

Also recorded a Christmas song with a blues feel via my Dobro, just
one track of dobro and one vocal. Grrr will release that sometime
prior to Christmas, again, we’ll post news on that when it’s mixed,
etc..

Working on a “found object” guitar, one bass and three guitar strings,
fretless, for slide playing. It’s a gift for a friend who digs
cigarbox and found object guitars as I do. Fun. I’ll post pics when
finished, likely on Sunday night.

Nathan snapped the included photo today. Relaxed Kaiz 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll haul a few of my home-made guitars along with my sweet
McClellan acoustic and harmonicas to a show here in Chicago (see Grrr
Records “Shows” section if you’re interested). Info. about my
wonderful McClellan acoustic is here via the link:
http://tinyurl.com/3byxe2w

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Saints & All-Saints Day

Some protestants (I happen to be one of those) have such an aversion
to anything that seems like saint-worship that when Catholic or other
church streams -look- like (or actually are) they are praying to
departed saints… or in what seems an un-biblical glorification of
these people… well, many protestants “throw the baby out with the
bathwater”.

I’m not arguing for Halloween -though a bit of candy and fun is not
automatic paganism either!

What do I mean?

The terms “saint” or “saints” appears some 96 times in our English Bibles.

The Hebrew (Old Testament) meaning includes “apartness, holiness,
sacredness, separateness” while the Greek (New Testament) definitions
are “awe, reverence, revere, most holy”. That is, true followers of
God, of the Lord Jesus Christ live in awe and reverence of God, they
walk in His holy way.

While there is plenty of scripture that clearly tells us nobody but
the Triune God should be worshipped and none that indicates praying to
the dead is o.k.- is there something really wrong, are we “in the
flesh”, sinning or somehow associating with the demonic if we set
aside time to remember godly people who have positively influenced our
lives for Christ? I think not.

While dentists and nutritionists and the police have due concern for
excessive candy consumption and the occasional vandal, party-kid or
addict with regard to Halloween, and while the day’s orgins are
certainly mixed with unscriptural weirdness, when one seeks to focus
on the true God and the Bible’s teachings we can benefit from
remembering and considering the lives of godly people who have gone to
be with the Lord ahead of us.

“By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God
testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead,
still speaks.” (Hebrews 11.4)

Just as the above verse states regarding Abel, we’ve all been blessed
with those who are gone from the earth and yet their lives still
affect us in positive, deeply moving ways.

The older one gets, the more one realizes the wonderful influence
these men and women of God have had in our spiritual life.

For me, such people are St. Francis, Corrie Ten Boom, Bonhoeffer,
Wesley, Luther, Booth, A. W. Tozer, Fenelon, Mother Theresa, G.K.
Chesterton, Brother Lawrence and so many, many more I never got to
meet but expect to one day!

As I age I have an increasing list of personal friends who are gone
from this earth who all blessed me on many levels. I find it
significant to remember them and those special moments we shared.

One of the few memories I have of my grandfather John (my Dad’s Dad)
involves sitting in his lap as he daily read his Bible. By that time
he was a very old and rather quiet, kind man. I realize my Grandpa has
had a huge impact on my life.

I have my own “saint Francis” in a friend with whom I expect to
worship the Lord with around the throne in the future. He and his wife
and family participated in ministry with us and served our family
helping with our kids as REZ Band toured back in the day. For many
years Frank was indeed a witness to me (and so many others) of God’s
love and power as the change He worked in Frank was nothing short of
amazing! My memory of him is sweet and I’m so thankful for his life
and testimony.

Another “saint Francis” was a man who also served in community with us
for decades, coming from a drug/hippie lifestyle and into saving faith
that influenced his family and many friends toward following Jesus. We
shared a number of hobbies in common and I learned a lot about
creativity and “making due with what you have” from him.

Soon after his ordination, Denny (a JPUSA friend and pastor) was
called home to the Lord. He greatly impacted my life on a number of
levels and often blessed me with kindness and encouragement in moments
when I needed both.

As the years pass all of us will have to accept saying “Goodbye” to
loved ones, many of whom followed Jesus faithfully and who, like us,
with all of their eccentricities and flaws yet “speak” into our lives
by their godly impact via our memories.

Some on our list of saints left this world long before we were born or
perhaps we never met though they walked the earth during our own
lifetime.

Are all followers of Jesus truly “saints”? Yes, one can make a solid
biblical argument we are. At the same time there are some who have
more deeply influenced you and I than others. They may not be
“extra-ordinary”, surely they were not sinless or perfected in their
earthly lives yet they had a profound impact upon us with regard to
following God in love and integrity.

I think pausing and reflecting on such people is a very good practice,
with or without candy. Well… the occasional sweet treat is no sin
either 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

“Seasoned” With Salt

Get it?!! Well, at least I hope this blog is…

And no, that’s not a ufo but a jet on the way to Chicago O’hare
International airport (above that tree)!

Being very honest, I don’t fully understand why I love the change of
seasons so much, but like quite a few others in this world, I do.

Others would love to camp out in summer, perhaps spring, or autumn or winter.

I really enjoy all of them- and I don’t like some things about all of
them… but I guess my longtime favorite season is autumn.

The woods, the scent, the sunlight through bright leaves, the moving
of animals, hunting, just being out in crisp air all brings me to
life!

I could also mention other cool (to me at least) things I really like
about the other three seasons.

Anyone reading this knows I interact with nature. So did (and do) a
lot of people.

The Celts (and Celtic Church) among other people groups recognized God
via nature and even the seasons. You can find references to this all
through their writings, prayers and history.

Again, if you’ve looked at very many of my song lyrics or read my
writing over the years you likely know I’m at peace with change and
think it important to write about it from time to time as part of
life- both for Christians and those not walking in faith with God. We
really need to embrace what IS as opposed to what we wish “was”!

One job of those who love and communicate with others is to observe,
to look, to listen.

Some of the greatest personal pleasures for me have been in times,
places and among people where I am able to discuss art and creativity,
music included but also other art forms and interaction of such forms.

Nature is a wonderful setting for this and I’ve been blessed by being
able to share from the Bible, personal experience and hands-on
workshops in several places over the years. I LOVE such opportunities,
because when if/when I’m able to encourage deeper -and- wider thought
about music, writing and the arts in such settings, the examples of
nature, growth and change are immediately in front of all attending.
You can literally SEE God’s hand at work, sometimes very slowly while
other times very, very quickly.

It’s like that with my life, with your life, with everyone whether
they are willing to pay attention or admit it or not.

Consider how the economy, health issues, a huge inheritance, an open
door in a local church or ministry, a “door” of opportunity or
longtime service (or relationships, etc.) closes. Sometimes these
things happen slowly, sometimes lightning quick.

How we come to the Lord (or not), how quickly we bring thanks, cries
for help, make carefully prayed-over and informed decisions as the
seasons of our lives change are all so very important!

Few people like baking or sunburns in the middle of summer, few truly
enjoy being caught out in brutal, stinging ice storms and blizzards in
winter. I’ve not met many people who love having to un-stick cars and
trucks out of muddy back roads in spring or the hard, cold winds and
rains that sometimes occur in autumn.

Yet how we respond and adjust not only tells us something about our
maturity but about our resilience. Can we “bounce back”, will we allow
fear, anxiety or depression to “run” our “show” or do we know Who and
who to turn to for the help we need?

Can we live in faith and a genuine sense of peace and joy even when
uncomfortable with changes?

Will we allow anger at God, bitterness with people, worry about our
future to overshadow our thinking and choices in the present moment?

Choices, all choices we must each make as the seasons turn. They will
not stop turning until we arrive before the throne of God.

Ha, I’m personally not certain whether there will be a continuum of
“change” or “seasons” as we think of them now… but there will be no
more negative anything because we shall see His face and -we- shall be
changed!

Those following Jesus ALWAYS have something to look forward to!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn

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Knit Together in Love

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That title… seems like I’ve read that phrase somewhere…

Anyhow, my sweet Wendi has enjoyed knitting for quite some time.

She has gotten great teaching on it from family and friends, taken
plenty of time studying knitting books and reading online articles,
etc., and when she gets stuck she’s humble as well as smart enough to
go get help from sisters who know what’s what with the process.

Wendi has made a great many knit items as Christmas, birthday and
other gifts, and just because she loves a lot of people and tries to
offer what she can in service to them. Her knitting skills are
appreciated and she (for close to forty years now) always amazes me
with her love, servanthood and giving heart.

My bride reminds me of the bride of Christ- that is, the Church.

We each need to figure out how to best serve others though our
spiritual and practical gifts and talents. We need to be careful to
not yield to arrogant or super-insecure attitudes where we end up
either not asking -or are slow to ask for help when we’re in need of
it. We need to be close enough to godly and wise friends who will aid
us when and as we need help.

We can all benefit from reading God’s Word as well as other excellent
books and Web-based books, articles, etc., in order to better learn
HOW to best love and serve God and others.

Some years I have more time than others and I just don’t know if I can
take the time to get into the deer woods this season, but if I do
there is a wonderful knit scarf and camo-like hand warming muff both
of which Wendi created for me. Sweet! And warm. Just like any of us in
the churches -can- be.

There are plenty of cold days ahead, seasons change, it’s just part of
life. Thank God for the opportunity to bring gifts of love and warmth-
both spiritual and otherwise, to others. Thank God for those who bless
-you- with such kindness.

I’ll finish this blog with a pic of her latest, pretty piece of
work… right in front of one of the Lord’s prettiest bits of work 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

HEbrews… What?

Coffee, tea, I love ’em!

God continues to work in us does He not?

So what good is HE brewing up in us?

I’ve blogged about this before and surely will again- but years ago I
had a chat with a Christian leader who simply did not believe that
there was any sort of cooperation involved in following Jesus or in
pleasing God the Father.

I took care to explain I wasn’t talking about earning salvation, but
rather growing in grace via knowledge of Jesus which comes by
relationship and actual application of God’s Word in one’s life. If
spiritual growth were somehow automatic a great many warnings and
promises in the New Testament alone would cease to make sense.

To be clear, I’m not talking about law, legalism, people lording over
people or living in condemnation, constant and un-ending focus on self
and whether or not we’re doing everything to the letter of the law. NO
one can nor should live like that. God Himself does not call us to
live like that.

While God’s grace and mercy trumps, the idea of a Christ-follower
having the ability to -not- follow, the concept of a one-sided love
affair (in essence, God loves me, I don’t concern myself with any sort
of practical loving Him in return) is real enough in plenty of
people’s lives that we need to discuss it from time to time.

Let there be no confusion, this is not about salvation rather it’s all
about a core part of a truly -growing- spiritual life, that of the
believer following (which means movement, action…) her/his Lord by
and through (note, not our own strength or mere determination) the
power of God the Holy Spirit Who seeks to FILL us, not only reside
-with- us.

Verses such as Acts 5.32 come to mind: “And we are witnesses of these
events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey
him.???

Classic pentecostals and charismatics need to consider that being
filled with the Holy Spirit entails a surrender and more than a
one-off prayer or occasional experience complete with goosebumps and
supernatural evidence. Love in action IS the evidence. Sometimes
there’s far too little of that among Christians of all streams and
theological positions, no?

Hard-core, imbalanced Calvinists need to face the language (yes,
original biblical Greek, etc. in context) that over and over again
makes clear statements about our choices to move or not move toward
Him and His desires. Such phrases fill the New Testament. Why? If we
have nothing to do with spiritual growth, the New Testament is clearly
laced with fables. Not so.

This is not a matter of automatic anything.

This morning another devo came my way via email which focused on
Hebrews chapter 12. Indeed, I like to avoid this chapter myself
sometimes!

There I read “… He [disciplines us] for our benefit, that we may
share His holiness.” Hebrews 12.10b

Discipline? If we are assured literal perfection in THIS LIFE, prior
to eternal life with our Lord, why in the world (get it??!) would the
Spirit lead the writer of Hebrews (note, written to a vast Church)
about one of the most typical realities of a genuinely Christian
spiritual life, that of experiences through which God DISCIPLINES His
children? The discipline being discussed is not done-deal, it is
present tense. Not “He did it” but “He DOES it”.

The context is clear, the actual moving of the Spirit is also clear-
we aren’t fully disciplined yet, but difficulties are sometimes, not
always but often- part of His chosen process through which to make us
more like Himself, to “share His holiness.” Well I thought that
according to plenty of verses in the New Testament that I was already
holy: holy by virtue of Jesus on the cross for me, by HIS work and
power, by His proclaiming me (the guilty) “not guilty”, forgiven,
accepted in the beloved and holy due to His indwelling me and my life?

All of this is true, He DOES impute unearned, un-worked for, unmerited
holiness into each of our lives as we in saving faith trust Him. True,
true true, thank God!

So what’s with this “that we may share His holiness” in context with
“He disciplines us in order that”?

Growth. Personal spiritual, relational (to Father, Son, Spirit)
growth! We’re not literally perfected/sinless, not yet, not in this
life.

The tension in the “now AND not-yet” isn’t easy to live with, so we
have plenty of Bible teachers, scholars and theologians who work very
hard at answering this tension with an “either-or” approach.

Salvation is mine / work out your salvation… Jude tell us “to you
who are kept” AND “keep yourselves in the love of God”. Over and over
the Word of God is balanced as very few if any (including me)
Christians are in what we believe, preach, teach and write.

We seek closure, but it ain’t over ’til it’s over!

I think careful examination of what it means to accept the Spirit
bringing/allowing difficulties into our lives so that we may become
more like our Lord is a huge need amongst believers.

Consider our Lord: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4.1) Wow. But God knows exactly
what He’s doing, what we are able to handle (with His power) and how
we and others will benefit by such experiences, difficult as they are
as we go through them.

Discipline is painful, Hebrews makes no excuses about that nor does
the book ignore or soft-peddle it.

Do I (Glenn) enjoy the personal crosses, the disciplines that come my
way? Of course not! Do I enjoy the work of the Spirit growing me up,
producing more of His fruit (Galatians chapter five) and therefore
more of the character of Jesus in my life? Yes, the peaceable fruit of
righteousness that comes from such training is good, valuable and one
of the marks that I am actually a Christian, not only in mind but in
action.

OK, do -other Christians- and indeed unbelievers appreciate all this
via my life? What a question! The more I love, the more I’m willing to
sacrifice, the more I can reflect Jesus in my relationships with
others the better chance they have of truly encountering God and not
merely Glenn. Whew… what a contrast!!

God help us to grow in grace- and recognize that growing up in
holiness, in the very nature of our God is part of “why” He
disciplines us!

Lord give me/us the grace to surrender. Help us to stop seeking to
avoid -Your- disciplining, molding hand of grace.

You’re the Potter, we’re the clay. Brew up what you like in our lives,
it’s always SO much better than what we brew.

And to those reading- thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

True Wealth

If trucks pulled up carting everything you own off -and every bank in
the country failed and you somehow lost all your savings… what would
you have left?

At least elements of this scenario are happening to people in the
present economy.

One of the many gifts in the dna of the fellowship I call home has
(Jesus People U.S.A. in Chicago) is artistic talent.

To be blunt, there are plenty of groups that would do most anything to
have such talented people, but talent often comes with huge egos and
that prima donna/chip on the shoulder attitude so unbecoming to a
Christ follower.

A few years ago some of our artists asked for photos of all in our
intentional community for an art project they were producing at
Easter. They asked for recent- and if possible- older photos of when
we were younger. That display is up on one wall in our dining room. I
love it as a depiction of Jesus is in the very center with so many
friends and neighbors all around Him and joined with one another.

As I sat chatting with friends in our dining room yesterday I again
recognized how blessed we are in that one of our friends who is a
fairly new Christian has also covered many of our walls with his
brilliant photographs.

Long a tremendous photographer, he is a humble man living a simple
life, working to grow spiritually and blessing us by sharing his
thousands of wonderful photos with us.

Very many of our people and a slew of guests, visitors from all over
the world, church and school youth groups and members’ parents and
siblings come through all taking long looks at this wonderful display.
Like myself, they can be seen standing by these several large photo
exhibits as you might see at an art gallery, just gawking and
observing the amazing pics our bro. has both taken and spread through
our dining room and part of the lobby for our pleasure.

As I again enjoyed them while sitting at a table yesterday a few
thoughts crossed my mind:

First, the economy is hammering millions of people worldwide and we in
the U.S., the state of Illinois, people of Chicago and indeed JPUSA
all feel it. Some feel it more than others, no doubt, yet all but the
most wealthy are having to adjust, cut back, re-think “want” versus
“need”.

Jesus said “A person’s life does not consist in the things they
possess” and how very true that statement is!

At the very least He meant that material stuff isn’t the end-all/be-all.

I’m now thinking of a Veggie Tales episode where one of the characters
asks the other where he’s going. “To Stuffmart… to get more stuff!”

Western and other increasingly well-healed nations are feeling the
economic crunch in big ways, and as always the poorest within those
countries as well as the majority of the world’s poor in
“under-developed” nations feel it most.

And yet as I and many reading this travel the world, over and over we
find some of the poorest people the most ready to share and give
complete strangers who visit them food, shelter and a serving of
kindness far beyond so many of the supposedly “advanced” and well-off.

Further, some of the poorest seem the most spiritually minded and
frankly, pretty happy though they live more of a subsistence
lifestyle. The verse “Though poor, yet making many rich” comes to
mind.

Spiritual poverty is the worst kind because without faith, hope and
love one is truly miserable no matter how much worldly -surface-
power, money or materiel one has amassed.

Again, I think about the story Jesus told of the rich man who didn’t
have a self-storage locker near his farm… so said to himself “I know
what I’ll do… I’ll build bigger barns so my goods will be safe”.
Jesus goes on to say God responded with “You fool, tonight your soul
will be required of you” and the rich man loses everything in the most
complete sense.

As I thought about how rich we are in friendship, in talented artists,
in a photographer’s shared gifts -the obvious struck me: every one of
the photos in this huge, sprawling display has one subject: people.
They are past and present JPUSA members, people who shared time and
fellowship with one another at Cornerstone Festival, just a wide
variety of people, many I know and many others I expect to spend
eternity with around God’s throne worshiping Him.

With all my/our flaws, sins and mistakes, we are so very, very rich in
people. Many if not most are truly seeking Jesus and daily serving. We
are tempted with all the vices and various materialistic and other
burdens of this world and especially that of western nations, but
there is a core ethic that rises and grows in us- people, one-another,
THESE are our greatest gifts, our most wonderful treasure!

Spouse, children, grandchildren, friends in Christ, co-laborers in HIS
kingdom (not our own petty kingdoms) who love Him and seek to learn
how to better love one another, THESE constitute the true wealth in
our lives.

I’ve often stated the fact that relationships in Christ are the only
thing we will take beyond the grave. Nothing but eternal relationships
will continue on after we leave this world and only those who had
eternal life in Christ will continue in relationship past this life.

So what DOES true life consist of? Relationship to Jesus and one another.

HE and they are our greatest treasures.

As I think about all the downsizing, all the scrimping, the anger at
politicians and corporations, the burdens of changing costs of living
in the western world in particular, these amazing, brilliant
photographs remind me of what is most important.

Money, material things, political power or lack of all three don’t
equal true life. Real and satisfying life can only be found in Christ
and in true fellowship with the people of God.

Drawing closer to Him and them is what makes life worth living.

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Political/Sacrificial Christian Rant

This blog entry will not be what you may think it’ll be as it’s not
condoning either party whom the majority or minority of voters vote
for each election year in the U.S..

Rather, it’s about the average American citizen and about how we got
into the mess we’re in.

For decades the American standard of living has been near if not at
the top of all nations.

While some of what I’m about to write may sound like I think all
corporations are horrid beasts, that’s not even close to what I’m
going for in this post.

In my view, in a very simplified form:

-There is no real cap on the amount of time a candidate can stump for
an election

-There is no real cap on how much money they can spend on an election

-There is no real cap on media expenditures (in particular, tv or
print) for adds regarding an election

-In 99 percent of U.S. elections the one with the most money spent wins

-There are several ways large corporations (lobbying, etc.)
essentially put candidates in and out of office

-Due to promises made as well as lobbyists in Washington and state
capitols, etc., corporations not only often hold sway over laws
(getting into or out of the books, or changed to benefit their
interests) but:

-Due to the fact no president (or governor) gets in or keeps office
without the above large money and support from that money:

Money rules the natural, practical world

Due to all of this, there is never a “level playing field”.

The power that such money brings is what Americans have been partakers
of for… well, just about forever.

One more mention regarding corporate interests and I’ll get to the point…

Manufacturers and service industries, those in media and advertising
companies work in our society to tell us what we need. They just don’t
provide goods and services, they literally bomb us with the most
seductive (on all levels whether sexual, cute, hilarious or
you-name-it) “you NEED and will BENEFIT MORE AND MOST” from whatever
it is they sell.

Propaganda in both politics and industry is simply rampant.

I thank God and our forefathers for a free press, freedom of speech
and all the other freedoms. I TRULY do!

But these core problems (and they indeed are) are rather hardwired
into our minds and even hearts as much as practice when it comes to
making any number of decisions including what to buy or not, where to
travel or not and whom to elect to president or dog-catcher.

But the mad dog is us. The enemy is truly us.

No, not the democrat, republican or libertarian, not the full-on out
of balance nut case on either either the right or the left, but you
and me.

We want stuff we don’t need, we seek hard after comforts that once
gained we nearly come to a civil war over keeping, and again the Book
of James says it best.

In the end, when insane, demonized Islamic people crash planes and
bomb innocents, those in power (corporate and political) have to DO
something. That something costs lives and money.

Politicians, business people and most all Americans either play ball
with this situation or are directly involved in allowing it.

Why?

The answers are complex, but the simple overview truth is we like our comforts.

Those comforts are going away and it -may- be they’ll not return any
time soon and perhaps not at all.

Further, speaking as a Christian, God is still on the throne (and
thank Him, not you, me or us!).

Some of the greatest revivals (actually, first-time commitments to the
Lord) in history have come about in just such times of hardship.

But the Church (general, local and actual individuals involved) had
better step up. Demonstrating is good, voting is good, all of these
things are helpful, but living a simpler life and being willing to not
only consider living a less materialistic and comfort-based life but
actually reaching out to one’s neighbor with the genuine love of Jesus
and practical help IS THE DEAL.

I hear people yelling about patriotism… may I ask if the patriots
are those who pack up and outsource their business to other countries
to make ever more profits?

Self, not country, is our curse.

Self, comfort and living whatever standard of life (stuff, more
stuff!) is going out the window.

When one really looks at what is happening in other nations and
cultures, there are several things I wish to point out:

Those who are not struggling as most of the industrial West want more
of what we have (or had and are losing). Some sit in the “developing
nations” category and are feeling the “hit” mid-stream. Many live
subsistence, and I mean sufficient clean water and/or food.

This last segment of the world has suffered under drought and other
disasters, despotic leadership (if “leadership” is the correct term)
and has seen increasing death rates.

Do we REALLY think God’s will is always for us to get what we want
while others are simply trying to keep their children and themselves
alive?

People are acting more and more like dogs who’ve had their favorite
bone (boneS, really) snatched from them.

They want to eliminate those who seem to be snatching those bones.

BOTH parties were in power when Wall Street cheats and fraud took
place. BOTH parties were involved in legislation favorable if not
merely allowing the graft and corruption to continue.

The poor, the stranger (immigrants) legal or otherwise, those
different than us get scape-goated, yes, even by Christian people.

As long as we buy (literally) into stuff we don’t need and allow anger
against those otherwise not in positions to make the obvious changes
I’ve implicitly listed above, we’re pretty well sunk.

Again, sinking is sometimes exactly what we need to do in order to
come to Jesus and learn how to walk on water.

It’s about following God, not any kind of American Dream.

It’s about making hard choices for ourselves before they’re made for
us by forces we aren’t in control of.

The fact is that we have to choose sacrifices before we choose to
blame others for what we’re losing.

When others are literally dying for lack of water, food and basic
needs for physical life, whatever it is we think we can’t live without
looks a great deal differently to me. How about you?

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn