Kaiser Family Christmas Concert- Frankfort, IL Sat. Dec. 1


Wendi, Ami, Rebecca and many of our family as well as Brach and Joby from The Unfortunate (Ami's band) are gearing up for this coming Saturday @ Watershed Cafe (Frankfort, IL) "Kaiser Family Christmas" set. Great folks, coffee and food. All we need is a lil' snow… heh!

Wendi will bring her hand-knits for sale, I'll have the deluxe GK/Grrr cigarbox guitars and a few of my not-so-deluxe one's as well as cds on the table.

We'll sing many Christmas hymns, some originals, poems and Christmas readings from scripture.

Hope to see some of you there! -Glenn


Big Job, Big God

While I admit to being pretty serious at heart, I also laugh at both myself
as well as much of the world around me.

Then again… there's that old Book of Job! Well… I'm only slightly smiling
as I write this πŸ™‚

If you've never read it or need a refresher, the main point is the devil has
to ask God permission to tempt Job. God allows him but also places boundaries
on what satan can do.

One of slewfoot's comments is simply that God has so blessed Job in so many
ways, so of course he's following the Lord. He goes on to tell God if a load
of calamity comes into his life Job would surely curse and deny God.

However you might like to accept this writing as a sort of Jewish mindset
and rationale for pain and misery in this world- or if, like myself, you
happen to believe it really happened as reported by the writer, either way
it's an interesting thing to consider.

It seems obvious God either orchestrates or at very least allows some pretty
horrific things to happen in -some- people's lives. Perhaps not yours or
mine. Perhaps not today or not yet. But what about tomorrow?

Does God exist? Does He truly love us when pain and suffering arrive at our
doorstep, in our family, in our physical body, in our church, workplace,

I believe the answer to both questions is YES.

I fully admit I WANT to believe this, but I also know (as you, dear reader) a
few other things:

We can be certain we don't and largely cannot control nature, the weather,
natural disasters and such.

We can be certain we have limited control over anyone in terms of how they act
toward us. For example, there is no perfect "fail safe" safety net that can
completely protect us from terrorism.

We can be certain that as wonderful as science and medical research is that
there will always be illnesses confronting humanity.

Lastly we can be certain that nobody is fully loving, kind, gracious and
giving each and every moment! That is, all of us -sin-. That word simply means
"missing the mark". We fail at measuring up to the utterly holy and pure
nature of the God Who created us to be loved and love one another.

All of this boils down to the fact that you may not believe God IS… you
may not believe He loves you or is present with you IN the pain and suffering,
you may even believe He somehow and for some reason beyond our understanding
WANTS you to be miserable… but we can be certain (if only due to the things
I've listed above) WE ON OUR OWN and apart from Him live an extremely
fragile and often difficult life on this planet!

I have found Him faithful to both deliver me as well as to carry me through
the storms He permits.

Like millions of other Christians I have realized that a great deal of my
own spiritual growth and maturity has come from the struggles and the pains
of life, not only (or I would even say percentage-wise… LESS than from) the
bright sunny, blue-sky and ice-cream days.

That has been an experience so many of us have shared.

You have to be in need of mental medication if you seek pain and misery. But
you need at the very least, authentic spiritual medication (the Bible, prayer,
godly confidants, confession of your miss-steps and weakness, humility) in
order to truly make it through this "veil of tears".

Recently past in Canada, Thanksgiving also just came around again in the U.S..

I find it difficult to thank God when living for myself. How about you?

I find it very difficult to be at peace inside when I choose my own way
rather than the way of Jesus Christ. Is this familiar to you also?

Job (see The Book of Job in the Bible) suffered far beyond what most any of us
ever will, and in most every point kept his heart right in terms of relationship to God.
He didn't do it perfectly, but in the end after a humbling correction from the Lord, God
blessed him fully beyond all he had been graced with earlier.

For many- this very day- boils (Job's ongoing affliction not to mention his
entire family and fortune being wiped out in near-instant time) would be the
least of our real issues.

When we refuse to be satisfied with God's answer to our need we often create
a false God to fill in for Him. This heaps misery on top of misery.

Where is your (or my) heart, right now?

Is God your God… or is there someone or something else taking His place in
your life?

Have you decided (as Job's wife counseled him) to basically "curse God and
die" unless you get your wish for healing and deliverance?

When we decide to judge God as though we are wiser, better and stronger- and
yes, more "righteous" than He is, we're setting ourselves up for an unreality
that will NEVER be our Savior. Only Jesus is sufficient in trouble. Only Him.

I come to Him today for mercy, grace and strength. I come to Him because I
need Him. I come to Him because He alone is God.

I continue to come to Him regardless of the struggles, pains and injustices
of this world.

I come to Him because of all these things as well!

He says "COME to me". This, I have found, is the place of rest in the middle
of what is at times, a very painful, difficult world.

Praying for those in the middle of the mess, post-hurricane, for those lonely,
perhaps a first holiday with a loved one absent, for so many in hospital. He is
a "very present help in trouble". Emmanuel comes!

Mercy Lord! -Glenn

Thanks For…?


So I was in the woods in west-central Illinois last weekend… and in two separate spots, one in the morning and the other late afternoon, 18… yep… and then 12 (on the second day) mature wild turkeys fed right by me at about 30 yards. Total: 30.

And it is indeed Thanksgiving here in the U.S.!

So with apologies to my Canadian friends (hope your Thanksgiving holiday was wonderful no matter the choice of foods), we arrive at another one in my country.

After a tense and often rather merciless election cycle, with so many economic, weather-related, sometimes family and personal burdens to bear what exactly are we giving thanks FOR?

My (very, very short) short list?

I give thanks to God for Jesus Christ- His sacrifice on the cross for my sins, His promise of eternal life. Then for my incredible, merciful wife, amazing kids and grandkids, other in-laws and extended family, friends and blessed church family.

I'm super thankful for nearly 60 years of good health -and Lord knows I did enough drugs early on, have carried too much weight most of my life, and lived a pretty triple-A personality life so good health for me has been a truly unearned and amazing gift!

I thank God for creative ideas, friends who support me in them and at times help me with caution/counsel/shaving off the edges (plenty of those) in my pursuits. I'm thankful for godly and wise friends who care about my spiritual life, the spiritual and other areas of health of my family. Such family and friends are sweet and humbling gifts.

For enough hearing to still hear (mostly!), enough eyesight to see this computer screen even without my reading glasses, I give God thanks.

My memory has never been fabulous in some areas, but I thank Jesus for deep and lasting memories of many years of grace in my life with Wendi, family and co-ministers. I'm deeply thankful for patient and longsuffering (with me) band mates.

That anyone even gives a rip about what I think or that I can help anyone in even a small way is a miracle and reason for me to give thanks. I thank Him for calling me, choosing me and giving me the grace, mercy, forgiveness and basic power to live my life as opposed to just doing the selfish kingdom-building routine. Oh trust me, I'm plenty selfish. I just mean I'm truly grateful as I look back on His compassion in using me to help anyone get closer to Him at all. I really don't think much of anything else I do comes close in value.

OK, so sometimes I actually love the Lord and people in a genuine way. That is truly only a gift from God. I'm more a recipient of it than I cause it. I believe this to be fully true.

I'm so thankful for spiritual and musical gifts as well as simple abilities to serve, though I confess I'm often not close to the servant I should be.

"What have you been given that isn't a gift?" James writes.

And so here is another Thanksgiving when I can only trust in His mercy and offer thanks, praise and worship to my heavenly Father for gifting me- and gifting me with so many of you.

Now, I do indeed appreciate the bird, sides, and desert on the day πŸ™‚ I like NFL football. But all of this is only the asterisk to the gifts I've listed here above.

Blessed Thanksgiving friends! Thanks too for stopping by. -Glenn

Glenn Kaiser Solo, GK & Family and GK/Joe Filisko December Show Dates

Glenn Solo Blues, Blues with amazing harmonica master Joe Filisko, a Kaiser Family Christmas and a GK Solo Blues Christmas show… many and varied sets are coming in December.

All of these shows are in the Chicago metro area. Glenn's Cigar Box guitars & basses and Wendi's hand-knit goods as well as Glenn & Rez music will be available at each show. Joe will bring harmonicas and his cds to the Nite Light evening as well.

So- Blessed Thanksgiving and Advent Season to all! Hope to see you soon. -Glenn

Saturday, December 1st @ 7pm
"Kaiser Family Christmas"
(Glenn & Wendi, daughters Ami Moss with her band The Unfortunate & Rebecca Switaj, poet Curt Mortimer and more bring The Story of Christmas)
7837 Lincoln Hwy
Frankfort, IL 60423
This is a Free event!

Saturday, December 8 @ 7pm
Glenn Kaiser/Joe Filisko Blues
Also: Maron (yep!!)
(2nd Saturday Unite & Ignite Event)
7009 Ogden Ave Berwyn, IL 60402
Janet Cairo nitelightcafe@yahoo.com

Saturday, December 15th @ 7pm
Glenn Solo Blues (cigarbox and found-object guitar focused show)
5450 W. Fullerton Ave. Chicago

Friday, December 21 @ 7:30pm
Glenn Solo: "A Blues Christmas" (Christmas in blues & traditional music & story)
3824 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago, IL 60618


Wars, Votes, Salvation

A small history lesson, or perhaps a reminder, then a fairly wide range of commentary from me follows.

Even prior to our conversion n the Jesus Movement days, most of us hippies and street people had learned a couple things:

You can't trust a government whose armaments are considered more essential than meeting hungry people's needs.

Secondly, you can have all the stuff, all the material possessions you'd care to stack up and it won't fill your need for God Himself.

Then came a third lesson right behind those two: being an American and being an authentic Christian in vital, daily relationship to Jesus Christ are not automatically one and the same.

God before flag. Discipleship First.

These were fairly common points of agreement among those called Jesus People across the western world.

My recent blog quoted a good friend who I believe, has a sense of the pulse of U.S. Christians. In that blog I quoted his top 3 issues of concern for the churches.

His fourth point? More and more evangelicals have embraced social justice and reconciliation. We recognize Micah 6.8 is a core matter, not a sideline issue in God's view. But fewer and fewer believers are verbally sharing the Good News, the basic Gospel of Jesus Christ in a clear, direct way.

I believe more Christ-followers SHOULD share the Gospel verbally, and back it up with their attitudes and lifestyle choices.

An aside: what feels more "safe", evangelism or worship? Worship or discipleship? But I digress…

I also believe that so many have verbalized a Good News they've not lived… -and- that the message of Christ has so often been laced with a kind of extreme nationalism that many people both young and old reject Jesus, the church and believers alike.

Many Christians are thought of as dumb, maybe racist and even war-mongers to the extent many younger and non-churched, "post-Christian" people don't think we are worth listening to in the first place.

While I don't always agree with this judgment of Christians in my country, sometimes I must admit we are guilty as charged.

Multiculturalism and racism are still issues among us and they tend to build walls rather than bridges. There is a difference between God drawing a line and you and I drawing one.

Certainly there is a strong rebellion against Christ and His Word in people. All are sinners. But it's also convenient to blow off truth about our own sins and extremism as Christians to the end we consider ourselves righteous in all our ways. Paul makes the exact same argument regarding the Jews. Consider yourself righteous and all unlike you, all who think differently as outside the family of God… and you've already blown it.

I personally have deep convictions about what the Bible says about morality -and not only sexual but with regard to life and death issues of all sorts. I have voted in nearly every election over my lifetime… and get the fact some believe all Christians in all ways are hardcore right-wing, period. Not so.

ARE all Christians hardwired to the "right" politically? Absolutely not. There are exceptions all over the place just as there are in every denomination, house church and any type of Christian assembly. We really aren't the penguins some think we are. But this also angers many of us who want all Christ-followers to be in lock-step.

Not all individual churches, denominations, associations or house churches think, believe, vote or act the same- never have and in this world, never will. If this is the case among Christians regarding biblical interpretation- how is it the very same should not be true with regard to political positions?

I suggest we not forget that there are plenty of ways to bring destructive mayhem that any demonized nut-job much less religious fanatic can figure out by a simple web search. In plain English, any true democracy (which is my personal favorite and I'm serious about this!!) will always have leaks in the dyke. Neither police nor military can fully prevent calamity!

If the former Soviet Union, present-day China and other hugely repressive regimes couldn't (and didn't) fully prevent bomb and other attacks by these regimes massive political, military and secret police power what makes us think by electing this or that free, Western government will?

There is no fail-safe, face it.

The same principle goes for verbally sharing the Gospel of Christ. Same deal. You may think someone will or won't attack you, but in the end you don't have control over it- and you never did!

No government can fully protect a nation with such incredibly long borders, a public who on one hand wants more protection and a greater sense of security (remembering 9-11!) yet doesn't want to pay for it. Then again, we can spend zillions on defense (fighting our enemies "over there") when our own inner-cities drop further down the toilet with drug dealing and prostitution which are the easiest (argggh… garbage and filth) job opportunities some in the ghetto currently have available. Make no mistake, I'm not saying this is cool nor that I like or approve of it!

There is also a sentiment that the private sector will do more to help America than elected officials. My caveat to this is simple… you cannot vote the private sector out every four years if they mis-manage and rip people off. Hello?!

So… the govn't will fix Everything… or the private sector will?!


I prayed for, felt sorry for and worried over our military in Vietnam. Regardless of your feelings or position on that "police action", too many returned home in coffins or not at all. Plenty are still in mental hospitals, in urban or small town parks sleeping under rags and newspapers, a great many returned addicted or joined those ranks afterward.

Iraq and Afghanistan as well as plenty of other issues have helped spawn a greater number of incidents of suicide among our military. This is tragedy piled atop tragedy.

Again, the Jesus freaks were in process of being set free from drug addiction and yet understood how to be compassionate to people battling addictions. And we were not always for tossing people in jail as some sort of "fix" to the problem.

Perhaps like myself you've watched the Drug Enforcement Agency documentaries via the National Geographic (I think it was Natl. G.) Channel regarding Mexican (and perhaps other) drug cartels extending their farming in seven (or was it nine?) southwestern U.S. states over the past several years?

Can we not face the fact that our nation is the number one market for illegal drugs on earth? This is WHY the cartels are successful. Enough of us buy what they sell. Simple capitalism to them.

These are some of the reasons I fully disagree with the concept of spending more money for overseas warfare.

Further, we must somehow get beyond the idea of either becoming an armed camp of a nation who can only keep peace and security by an overbearing police and/or military presence on the one hand- as well as understanding the huge number of people in the U.S. in deep need of basic food, housing and legal living-wage job opportunities on the other.

While there has been a great deal of talk, I'm more and more concerned that just as the old adage goes "ten percent of the congregation does ninety percent of the work", so it seems some of us think a vote will be a big fix for these several moral dilemmas.

Just as many think they're "voting Christian" regarding abortion and sexual preference matters, the rest of these issues seem to be of little real concern. Plenty of folks are vilifying, some even un-Christianizing people on the basis of their vote. It's sort of a twist on "Of COURSE I'm a Christian, I'm an AMERICAN". Nonsense. It was nonsense in the sixties and seventies and it's nonsense today.

If you or I judge everyone who is not a part of our particular flavor of church as an unbeliever, I simply want to ask you if you happen to have a copy of the Lamb's Book of Life on your shelf? Would you dare to consider this principle in light of a particular vote??!

We're not the only nation, nor is this the only time in history where we mixed "patriotism" with "genuine Christianity". But sometimes it seems we really carry on as if "Anybody who doesn't think and vote like I DO is insane, demonized, not -really- saved, ignorant, and likely both deluded and evil".

My friends and any who would consider me an enemy: THIS is the same position Hitler took in a time of severe depression and political upheaval in 1930's Germany. This sort of rounding up the wagons and shooting at anyone who doesn't agree with -me- or -us- is fruitless, hopeless and in the end, loveless.

With regard to Jesus and His Good News (and even Tina Tuner's lyric), what DOES love have to do with it? This is where a credible witness to those presently without faith in Jesus Christ comes into play.

I'm not saying we cannot be deeply passionate about our personal or local church position. I'm saying there are too many witch-hunts percolating under the surface, even in some of our churches.

There is PLENTY I disagree with: both right and left. Plenty.

I do believe voting will make some sort of difference, but I do not think the sky will fall.

There are those who want you and I to think otherwise.

Salvation first of all, is about personal faith, relationship, commitment and the love of Jesus Christ who died, rose again and will one day fold this world up like a scroll.

It is not about -any- earthly election.

Salvation is sourced -only- in the blood of the Savior, not the blood of any other person or people group.

Regardless of your vote, what about your verbal and daily lifestyle example of what a God-and-people loving Christian looks like?

I ask myself the same question, and often must repent. We truly need to wake up and just like each new day, first take an honest look in the mirror.

Life begins and ends with Jesus. Our citizenship is in heaven. Let's keep our hand to the most important plow, that of loving God and our neighbor.

Mercy Father God!! -Glenn