Love in Action / Love Inaction?

When so many possibilities of corruption exist, and when so very often political office as well as large portions of the
justice system are able to be manipulated on the basis of money, truly solving problems in society can seem, yes not only
seem to be but in fact are (in the natural, practical sense) impossible to overcome.

How does one wake up “the wrong color”, on the wrong side of the economic tracks, few if any job opportunities, gang bangers
threatening and beating people up, threats on one’s family coupled with living in a one-parent household help one to escape
eventual criminal activity and jail, prison, a series of convictions and finally a wasted life that eventually just ends?

I know it’s all about salvation in Jesus Christ! I get that!! I’m a pastor and evangelist and have seen countless numbers of
people pray and receive the grace of God in His forgiveness and a new life.

Certainly God DOES provide new friendships, jobs, housing in (generally “better”) neighborhoods… but the temptation for so
many young men and women in these situations is to just give up and give in. Drug habits (sometimes one of the few sources
of pleasure) and sexual escapades (one of the other few sources) are so available and both the pressure and temptation is
stark and real in the face of the other realities I mention here.

Job opportunities are few and far between, sometimes one’s family members are at least as caught in habitual sin as the
individual is, and so jail and/or prison is a continual revolving door.

The church often does little or nothing about all this. “They are reaping what they’ve sown… period” is the oft-thought
response.

While I cannot argue with that truth on the one hand, neither can most otherwise genuine Christians I know who do little or
nothing to help change things for (mostly) minorities in society who are caught in the cycle of crime-lockup-crime.

Of course self-destruction ends up being shared with others… nobody every really sins where others are not adversely
affected by it. Either the hurt and pain is shared one way or the other, in the misery of shared experience of one you love
wasting their life and paying the often horrid price of living in sin… or being the victim of such a person’s crime,
misery and distance from God.

How to close the gap?

I keep returning to John 3.16 and yes, 17!

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Let’s face facts: many of us are tempted with extreme fear and/or extreme anger about such matters as those I’m laying out
in this blog post.

Our sins nailed Jesus to the cross just as much as some poor and addicted criminal who brings havoc and death to our
neighborhood.

Nobody’s sin is any cleaner, nicer or more acceptable to God than the next person’s!

At the same time it’s obvious that some sin causes a great deal more pain and destruction to self and others.

What I am saying is that true followers of Jesus need to think seriously about what WE can do, how WE can pray, how WE can
somehow reach out in love and with grace to help.

We may see very little salvation, few repentant people and very few whose lives are forever changed in the positive direction of God and neighbor love, personal responsibility and working rather than law-breaking for a living… but to be
extremely blunt, very few Christians that I know make much difference and nary a dent with regard to these issues.

We then blame or cast our hopes on politicians and the judicial system to fix what ails both the criminal and our streets- which as I believe I accurately say here, are largely for sale.

Why am I not in despair, living in great fear and deep anger over all this?

I happen to- and solely by the grace of God mind you- be blessed living with and working alongside of a group of people who daily work to bring the love, life and grace of Jesus -in PRACTICAL ways- to the very people in the very situations I mention here. In other words, my life has (much to my own surprise…) more and more been caused to entertain Matthew 25 principles… but not merely in principle!

Who- in your area- actually works to make a positive difference in other’s lives? Who lives for Jesus and others and not merely for self and survival? What people (with all their own temptation, sins, warts and imperfections) actually works to make a positive difference in your area of the world? What stops you from somehow getting involved with them in some sort of practical way of serving, helping, DOING something rather than simply worrying, pointing fingers and thinking that it’s someone else’s job to love and serve those in need around you?

I am NOT saying everyone must do as I/we/our church community does! NO. I AM saying too many talk and do nothing more than talk about societal problems. Too many think if they vote correctly they can then push away from the table and get on with their own life. Too many think they can somehow separate and compartmentalize their daily life in neat and segregated sections: Sunday I’m in church, Monday to Friday I work a job, watch tv or cruise the internet and sleep. Saturday I mow the lawn or engage in my hobbies. “That’s life and by God nobody better bother me with any more than that!!”

I frankly think that’s the mindset of far too many people, yes, even Christian people in our culture.

Another lame excuse is that they aren’t trained professionals and therefore best leave such troublesome matters and people to those who are.

There IS pain in getting close, in getting involved in hurting people’s lives. I freely admit that it’s not easy and sometimes very disheartening to work with someone over several years and watch them make continually self-destructive choices… as well as how others then “share the wealth”. But I also think one must live with one’s own conscience.

We know mere words and yes, votes ARE NOT going to bring the sort of healing and sea-change so many people need.

So what about love, even suffering love? Might this be what we see in Jesus? Might it not be the very thing He’s calling you and I to live out relationally with others?

How can they believe when so many Christians keep their distance out of fear and/or anger?

How can they believe in a love they’ve only heard about and so rarely seen in the people of God?

It’s your turn and mine to do more than talk.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for biblical activism… to those who are learning to actively love! -Glenn

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Castles & Kingdoms

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"But You go on… and on…" (From U2's "October")

We have a delightful late-Spring weather thing going on in Chicago as I write! But the words of "October" are in my heart
this morning.

In just getting home from a long European tour I've been looking through all the photos I took including several of castles, some
pretty solid and others fully crumbling.

Anyone can build up a sort of "fortress mentality", that is, the concept that the only way I can be truly safe is if I'm in
total control.

Been there, done that!

Between what others do or don't do, illness, natural disasters and our own bad choices none of us are, were or ever -can- be
in "total control" of our lives.

I have often made a statement that seemed right to repeat in many shows and services I've been involved in lately:

"It's not "our" or "my" kingdom" we're building… or is it?!

MY plan is X, Y or Z. Did I miss something or ought we to be thinking, praying and seeking God about "MY plan" as opposed to
assuming it's totally cool with God as long as it's cool with me?

Just asking 🙂

The saying comes to mind "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission"!

So many of us (myself included) could do so much more to truly serve Jesus and build the kingdom of God (as opposed to
our own little sand-castle melt-away world) had we asked Him for clarity, input and confirmation in the first place.

We are just so focused on our own wants, supposed needs, desires.

YES, He WILL "give the desires of the heart to those who fear [reverence, respect] Him"… but we often respect our own
self-serving choices more.

The brutal, unvarnished truth as I see it is this: we're often more serious about ourselves than we're serious about God.

If you think about it, this effectively puts God outside our door and ourselves in the center of our own kingdom. It means HIS
desires are secondary to ours in actual practice, in terms of our daily lives, daily choices, perhaps even long-term and
far-reaching (affecting others) plans.

If God isn't my God, it's likely I am. Often, it's not until you take a hard look at the naked truth about yourself that you give
much time or room for Him.

At one point I had a cookin' drummer and bass player in a 3 piece band up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I (in part) spent most
of my teen years. We played a huge show where we opened for one of the biggest bands in the area at that time.

It was an amazing show for us, we likely had the best set we'd ever done and the crowd went nuts. At the end of the night they
screamed for encores and kept yelling for us even after the other band took the stage. It was overwhelming and exactly the sort
of thing most musicians would die to experience.

I pressed past the crowd and out a back door. I couldn't figure out why I felt so empty after all of that… but I did.

It was truly strange.

Sitting on the curb all alone, a very quiet voice whispered "Well, I've allowed you to have about everything you've been working so
hard to get. Are you happy? Fulfilled?" And my response to what I believe was the voice of God speaking to me was "No. No I'm not."

Soon after that I surrendered… and I mean surrendered to Jesus. I'm not saying I never fought Him over what seemed to be His
call on my life- essentially to live for Him and not make all the choices based on my own desires- but this was part of my own turning
myself over to Him. I was 18 years old at the time and not quite graduated from High School at that point. But it was one of the more
important moments in my life. WHO are you listening to… and is GOD calling the shots or are you following yourself, just chasing
your own tail so to speak?

Someone recently told me "You have preached and written lyrics for years about our need for Him, about how we truly look
without Jesus at the center of our lives. Thank you and keep doing it. If people don't face themselves as they really are they often don't
think they have any need for God."

I have often stated that I think one of my main jobs on the planet is to reflect Jesus… but using that mirror analogy, I
also think another part of the job is to hold up a mirror (and not the distorted mirrors like in a fun-house carnival) to people.
Trust me, I use mirrors daily, for myself as well!

The Bible (the Word of God) is the best mirror I know of. It reveals the heart (including my own… often "ouch"!) of
human beings- both godly and ungodly. It's stories, sermons and short homilies bring people (including Glenny boy) into REALITY
which often exposes and contrasts the true kingdom of God against the petty kingdom I or you may be working so hard to build.
The contrast between these two kingdoms is rather stark and sometimes even alarming, don't you think?

Well… it's easier to NOT think, to avoid mirrors, scales, photos and also the Bible, people who may just tell us the truth
about ourselves… you know, those "mirrors on two legs".

Spiritual LIFE and spiritual GROWTH are not magic nor can they be had by some formula. John chapter fifteen, Galatians
chapter five and Matthew twenty-five will rock your world though!

Then again, we may just want to take ourselves and our own kingdom more seriously than God and His.

Remember this: if you live that way, there is nothing eternal nor truly life-giving in it. Our "kingdom" has an end. God's
kingdom has -no- end.

Choices. The most important choices indeed… God help you and I make up our minds to live in the light of the Son, to think,
pray, repent where we must, to build the only eternal kingdom there is… and bring glory to the only eternal King there is!

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

GKB EuroTour- Carsten’s Pics and Video Footage Here

From the just-completed GKB Tour: TourMeister Extraordinaire Carsten Turner took these
very artful photos all along the route. Have a look. This first link takes you to
Facebook.

(both links are safe and solid, I created the much shortened links using TinyUrl)

http://tinyurl.com/7qwbhlo

Further, a very old and cool man showed up at the Braunschweig, Germany show and… well, just
read and have a look for yourself (this link takes you to YouTube):

http://tinyurl.com/7gpu7un

Thanks for visiting, and thanks again Carsten, for a WUNDERBAR Tour!! -Glenn

NO Place Like Home!

Most of you will know the movie "Wizard of Oz", the 1939 classic tale of a Kansas farm girl swept by a tornado into another
world including a lion, tin man and scarecrow who all became her friends. In the end the wicked witch of the west and her
flying monkeys get zapped, the ersatz wizard realizes control by fear is wrong-headed and of course as our heroine wakes up
from what was a dream, those immortal words yet ring true: "There's no place like home".

Home is where we want to be.

The point is not so much a locale as a place of peace, of welcome, of security, and yes, a degree of comfort and familiarity
we can find no other place as beautiful and amazing as other places may be in various ways.

My friend Bob Williams went home in the past weeks. Another kind friend of mine, Mike Baar, will likely go home soon.
There are others who have or who will follow. Whenever and however, it's true for me. Yahoo and Hallelulia!

"Our times are in His hands."

This week for me, home was getting back to my Wendi, children, sons-in-laws and grandchildren after a wonderful but long GKB EuroTour.

There is NO place like home!

And yet the writer of Hebrews reminds us "Here we have no continuing city… but we seek one to come". That place is where
there is no need of the sun or moon because the place is lit by the glory, in fact the very Person of Jesus Christ.

Home.

Familiar place? In one sense not at all. How can a heaven, a New Jerusalem, well… how can being in the literal presence of
God be fully familiar to those who have never BEEN there? In one sense it can't be.

On the other hand when one has a growing relationship, an ever-closer, intentional seeking-God-intimately mindset and lifestyle, there is an element of "familiar" I expect those of us who followed Jesus will experience there as we have a glimpse of it here and now.

"Here we see through a glass dimly… THEN face-to-face."

I wrote about this in a little poem some years ago… "Ohhhh…." (largely but not Completely surprised) "What a view! What a
view in view!" I think heaven in the presence of God will be like that for the people of God.

So there is indeed no place like home. Really isn't.

Relationship of love, faith and obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord is the only way the Bible proclaims we can get there.

I believe it. God help you and I live it out in daily practice.

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see some of you in Ohio with GKB this weekend 🙂 See http://www.grrrrecords.com for further
detail on that.

-Glenn

GKB 2012 EuroTour Blog Five

This will likely be the last tour blog post as we have only Wetzlar to play tonight and fly home to Chicago in the morning. Our friends at the club in Wetzlar are very cool and we always have a great time with them so we expect nothing different this tour.

Wow, 15 shows in 17 days… met so many kind people and really have been blessed with great weather. Today as we awoke there is the slightest bit of rain in the Fulda area.

So here's a long update and a zillion pics from the last several shows on the tour.

Picking up where I left off- we had another sweet visit to one of my favorite countries: The Netherlands has always been special to me as like Australia, it was one of the first overseas tour spots for Rez Band so many years ago.

The club was very pretty, the people extremely kind and receptive and I think GKB had a very good night.

Lots of great chat after the show as usual, and linked up with old and several new friends. I'm only sorry it was the only show we had in Holland this time out, but perhaps more in the future. As in Belgium, such kind hosts and really nice people in every way. And the accommodations were very good as well. Also did a tv and another filmed interview in Gouda. Good folks, fun.

Oh- in Belgium our hosts gave me a jar of sugar-free chocolate spread. In both Belgium and Holland they have a custom to eat chocolate spread, sometimes in the morning, sometimes later on as well. But I only do sugar-free… and didn't know such existed until now. YUM!

So the Dutch club was packed, the response amazing, many photos taken which you can see here.

A sad and deep note- one of the key promoters had to bury his wife of only a year the very day of the concert. She is with Jesus but the grief is real and not easy. He came and I hope was encouraged… both he and a wonderful sister in the Lord blessed us so much during our stay! You will see pics of her Bible bookshop in this blog.

On the night I decided to emphasize the importance of following Jesus in our relationships to the extent we think about how our action or non-action affects others around us. This is always important of course.

Many in the crowd had seen Rez and/or myself during blues tours in Holland and so they were happy with both the Rez Band numbers as well as the blues tunes we did from my solo projects as well as GKB material. We ended up adding a couple songs to the set as well.

In that we did two sets, I did some solo acoustic blues to begin the evening, then Roy and Ed joined me for more, both acoustic and one electrified (Joy) from Bound For Glory. I decided to finish that set before a short break, with Witness Cloud which they sang- and sang extremely well!

I think all the Dutch pretty well love the true football ("soccer" in the U.S.) and of course sing to their teams all the time, so they were in fabulous voice!

We then went back to Germany with five more shows from the north down to Berlin
and then finish up a bit closer to the Frankfurt area where we fly home to Chicago from on Monday.

It seems we are all holding up pretty well -and as Carsten keeps us fueled with good coffee and pretty solid wifi we tend to be pretty happy 🙂

As you'd expect, we're all missing our families and JPUSA back home.

I will post this with the last pics of dear friends (and their beautiful horse) from Belgium and some of the many pics I took in Holland, then from those in Germany the last couple nights.

In both Braunschweig and tonight in the Hamburg area, both staffs and crowds were just as kind to us as could be!

Good attendance, nice atmospheres.

Roy told Sam (the key promoter in Braunschweig) that I was into hot peppers and sauce… so sure enough, they made traditional German breakfast the next morning but also scrambled eggs- with Sam bringing (American bro. from California) hot peppers and a bottle of habenero sauce. YEAH Baby!

We went on to Hamburg. I've included a few pics of the city and lake near the train station and harbor.

Denny and crew always do a great job and this night was as expected 🙂

Many REZ fans and others came by tonight as well and the Hamburg area folks sang as well as the Dutch on Witness Cloud at the end of the set.

One friend brought another to the show as a birthday gift. It seems we had an important talk some years ago and the Lord did some good things in he and his girl's (now wife) lives. Grace.

God has been so faithful to us- always is.. though at times we don't pay as much attention nor give Him thanks for His providence as we should.

Another bro. asked for me to sign his (beautiful) Martin acoustic guitar. I can't imagine… but I did it. Seems his family liked the evening a lot though they are not normally fond of loud music.

I know this is getting redundant but again in Berlin at the Hacienda Biker club along with Tribe of Judah and several other clubs opened the door and/or supported a GKB show and all went amazingly well. Again great chats after and we also met biker friends from Poland asking about a possible festival there in August. We'll see what the Lord has for us, but what a rocking night! Very responsive crowd indeed.

Oh, and one of the funniest Spinal Tap moments- after the set the crowd yelled for encores, we all went out the back door and when trying to get back in the door had automatically locked! A nice guy heard Roy pounding on the door over the crowd roar and let us back in… we laughed so hard we could barely get back onstage!

In the Fulda area the crowd was a bit smaller but super kind and appreciative on the night. I thought Ed and Roy had an excellent night and their solos during Queen of My Heart were cookin'! I felt good re. my own part but this again was a very kind crowd. Again, a load of great chats afterward, and as in many of these shows I signed several vinyl REZ albums and heard many stories of when and how people discovered us and what happened in their lives as a result of Jesus via our work. GRACE!

So on to Wetzlar, then Frankfurt airport, then Chicago O'hare and our families and home!!

It never ceases to amaze me how these tours go. Thanks to God, my voice has held up… talking little, getting sufficient rest of course helps… and your prayers.

SUPER Velen Danke to each and every promoter and especially to the wuderbar Carsten and his sweet wife Judith for their love, hard work and kindness to us!

Thanks for visiting my site, enjoy the photos 🙂

-Glenn

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