A Continual Not-So-Superbowl?

There is something among people- Christians at times must be included- where a “pecking order” is either established or sought after by those desiring whatever it is they’re not getting in the moment.

As we approach another Super Bowl I think about competition, and have long thought men are worse about this than women, though women surely fall into the trap at times as well.

Who gets the best (fill-in-the-blank) and “where’s MINE?” or simply working to fly under the radar to grasp what at times not even God wants us to have are temptations that come our way on occasion.

From coveting your neighbor’s spouse, house, job or skills, their hobby, a demanding of recognition of one’s (real or imagined) spiritual gifts, to competing for a position or (real or imagined) calling… it’s all about me. Not. But you know what I mean and that should tell you something.

How do I know about this?

I was the 3rd and last kid in our family. I saw my brother and sister fight for prominence and just be contentious (as many siblings are) for the last few years we were all in the same house.

A friend suffers from past abuse mixed with his own present failing and unwillingness to stay put in any place for any length of time to grow and heal and now demands his way (utter control is the only way to feel safe for him) and if his way isn’t respected and heeded, it becomes a scorched-earth lifestyle. No hope of redemption in that.

Another very close friend struggles with sibling rivalry and contention over the estate of their late parents.

Pecking order, competition, self-righteous demands, petty judgments, welcome to the world we live in- and sometimes the local or even larger church!

Then again, for what sin did Jesus NOT die for?

Is there anything too hard for God? Is there no way out of chasing our own tail and back-biting others to find a sense of personal value, worth, peace of mind and heart, right relationships? MUST our lives morph into “hit-and-run” on a continual basis until we have nobody left who wants to be around us due to our own bitterness and guilt (yes… both are usually part of the soup).

We know we can’t blame ALL our ills on “them”, don’t we? Or do we really know that?

It may be convenient to point the finger at everyone else but if you’re miserable please be sure you’ve contributed to your own pain. Really.

Nobody but yourself and God truly knows what’s in your head and heart, and if it’s not love and forgiveness, grace and a loving obedience to Him, true servanthood and genuine care for the spiritual nurture of others, then it really IS about you and what you want. Fail. Major fail!

This is at times an unfortunate cycle people fall into. I’ve been tempted to go there plenty.

At such times my thoughts boil down to two basic things:

What Jesus has done for me -“He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God through Him”.


I consider the reality that a whole lot of folks have issues that absolutely Tower over my petty pains.

The first doesn’t mean I’m instantly healed and the second doesn’t diminish my own hurt… but both help me to keep what I think is a more spiritually sane perspective.

The option is to keep your eyes and feelings focused on yourSELF and eat the gravel you’re essentially smashing up and filling your mouth with most every day. What you help cook is what ends up in your bowl.

Like Gollum, your “precious” is destroying you. Only Jesus and right relationships with the people of God can bring healing.

Your move. In that sense, it’s all about you. Reach up and out or shrivel up. Repent where you must, walk out loving service right where you are. In my view and experience, these are the godly options.

Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

He Wrote THE BOOK on Cigarbox Guitars

I met David Sutton (a brilliant photographer among other things) at the York Cigarbox Guitar Festival this past summer. We had a nice chat and I drooled over his fine book of photos and how-to on CBG and like-instrument building. Besides plenty of excellent quality pics he has thorough sections on various -kinds- of building as well as pickup-making and more, bios and interviews with some of the earliest key people in this movement.

As his studio is only 30 mins. from me (he’s up in Evanston, Illinois) I drove up and we shared a wonderful breakfast chat, tour of his studio and he’s shooting some pics of a few of my builds for another book. BUT… if you’ve not seen this you really should have a look. I own  Cigar Box Guitars: The Ultimate DIY Guide for the Makers and Players of the Handmade Music Revolution and it is frankly, The Definitive book on the subject, gives history and many-faceted insights on the history and allure of making, playing and general creativity that has been literally sweeping the world with these cool instruments.

Click and enjoy- along with video clips (PBS Channel 11 and Fox 32 both in Chicago) include him and others involved in this movement. Then buy his book (see the on his site) and get building, learning and having fun! Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

His main site (with video clips, etc.):http://www.suttonstudios.com/

His book site: http://www.cigarboxguitarbook.com/Welcome.html

GK Interviewed, New CBG Show Online

It seems I will be featured in an interview on a new Web-based show this coming Monday, January 21 @ 7pm EST and again Wednesday, January 23, 7pm EST. The show is called “Cigarbox Theatre” and you guessed it- accents music of the CBG revolution.

It’s all over at Back Street Radio: BackStreetRadio.com and you can link to it on any computer or mobile device to listen.

I met my new friend John Bernyk (Cigar Box Theater host and prop. or Lazy B Cigarbox Guitars) at the York CBG Festival this past August.

The folks at York asked me back again this year so I hope to see some of you on tour out East this August -dates, venues and times will all be posted soon as the tour is fully set and all are confirmed.

And that’s the news from here 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Jan. 16 Updates, Updates


I like dates! My Wendi and I just had one to see The Hobbit… very fun in 3D no less!

I’ve been writing more and more tunes, much in cigarbox/found-object guitar mode but some for a typical 6 stringer as well. Another project in the works.

Got some fresh guitar pick ideas in my head, when finished and available we’ll let you know… custom picks I’m doing and/or having made up.

Researching a longer sort of project, that of doing some low-budget (read LOW-budget) artsy projection during (evennnnnntually) some 6 or 7 songs of my sets with a small screen setup so folks can get into (God help us all!) my creative side a bit more while I’m doing live solo blues sets on my funky guitars. Long-term project because I’ll be using my own photos, bits of art, script and some public domain pics and art in order to give folks another feel for what I’m trying to convey via some of my tunes. Think “pin-hole black and white, etc.” weirdness.

Getting the booking together, several opportunities, trying to make sense out of where, when and how, especially regarding my Wendi and her arthritis. I’m learning more how to help her out each day and evening- a good thing and a WORTHY woman and the love of my life!

In fact we’re trying to go see Lincoln (the movie…) in another day or so, then I have the weekend shows and a service to do (see my last post here in posterous for that).

Had another amazing night at Cook County Jail with the Willow Creek team… a lot of men really serious about Jesus and the Willow folks are truly genuine folks. Enjoying getting to know the officers on duty as well, some good peeps there. So many guys caught up in the drug scene trying to finally get clean. Been there-done that so I hopefully bring them some hope. The small group was just the best… encouraging to me!

So I built a number of guitars (all slide) for friends and folks interested, Christmas gifts and such, building over the holidays and since, and here are a few of ’em. Tried out several new ways of construction and integrating what I personally like best re. playing and sound. Fun being creative! Here you see photos of some of ’em.

Fair warning- I have some pretty intense things to say in near-future blogs…

Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

CHANGE of VENUE & CITY-Sat., January 19th!

OK- so it turned out the normal winter celebrations up in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) in Iron River will be canceled due to not enough snow 😦 That means I won’t be there as advertised earlier as nothing’s going on as was planned.


I will miss seeing my U.P. friends, but maybe in the future we’ll be there…


BUT- it’s just been confirmed that I get to share the bill with a brilliant singer-songwriter & guitarist I came to know a few years back- Will Kruger, in Beloit, WI. So, Saturday, January 19 @ 7pm I hope to see some of you at O.Cup/Josiah’s Place. These folks are longtime friends of mine and it’ll be a pleasure to get up there again for this one!


JOSIAH’S Place Coffeehouse 310 State Street Beloit,WI 53512-1075 608.365.0365



Glenn Kaiser Solo Blues- featuring cigarbox & found-object guitars, harmonica & (yes indeed) a one-string 2×4 that talks BLUES 🙂


Please have a listen to Will here: http://www.reverbnation.com/willkruger and http://willkruger.com/


And a reminder the following Sunday night- January 20, I’ll be in Wautoma- Details:


Double Posts…

For some reason my email posting to the blog has a (many days!) delayed feed at the moment… which means if I post right online from Posterous (this blog) rather than do it via email, I someitmes get a double posting of the same message. I’ll leave it be with the blog titled Heat but if it happens again I’ll remove the 2nd and/or 3rd post. Don’t like the blog too un-tidy! -Glenn

Heat :)


I love heat! Really. Well, I rather appreciate cooler weather, but hot
sauce and screamin’ salza are my idea of a good time.

So one of my good friends always hits me with great sauce every
Christmas and this year was no different.

In fact, I just finished a bowl of his chili with it… yeaaahhhhsah! Rockin’.

Then again- some heat is simply painful.

So many folks give good and sane input while some are so tied up with
guilt from past sin, confusion and/or rebellion against God, they’re
essentially a walking ball of pain inside.

There are plenty of bitter folks on this earth and plenty who “share
the wealth”.

If you’re in ministry, if you’re called and care to serve you will
eventually if not regularly end up facing off (yes…) with hurting
folks who hurt others. You will also hurt them as you (and I) are no
more sinless/perfect/flawless than anyone else on the planet.

So at some point forgiving- and asking forgiveness is part of the
relationship. Then again, I find when I do give to or serve an
individual in the exact way they wish, I’m a “good bud”. If for any
reason, I seem to get in the way of, or do not help them get whatever
it may be they either want or believe they need from me (right or
wrong, seemingly scriptural or not, in the Spirit or in the flesh on
my part) I become the enemy. That’s life in this fallen world folks,
and to get out of “the line of fire” one must either always give vague
(or non) answers, pass the buck and send them to others (sometimes
exactly right as we don’t always have what they need) or otherwise
help folks get X, Y or Z, regardless of one’s own conscience or best
judgment in the situation.

That is, sometimes it seems God is saying no -and you better prepare
to feel the heat!

There have been moments when I wanted to ask a person if it was the
agape love of God they were trying to bring my way, or toward others
they were shooting at?! It’s a sad fact this is how some folks
self-medicate, it’s their (non-working, unscriptural) form of

What’s also sad about this is that there are many who no longer serve
Jesus or His church (larger or local church) on any real basis just
because of the pain of working with painful folks.

It’s simply part of the call of all Christ-followers to serve, but we
have a lot to say about whether we’ll serve others or not. Often, it
-is- easier to just do something else or work with someone else. I
don’t love pain either, but sometimes God puts me right in the middle
of such situations. Whew.

Are there times to cut ties to a person or people? Certainly.

But I do think it’s easier to keep moving than to keep growing up in
both spiritual maturity as well as relationships locally. This is a
problem with no one-size-fits-all answers.

God, His Word and His love compel us to speak the truth in love or keep quiet.

There is a time to bite one’s tongue and simply pray for God’s mercy
and grace in a difficult person’s life. There -is- a time to confront,
but there is also a time to take the hit(s), forgive, pray and walk
on. None of us will ever BE Jesus to another, and to somehow think we
have all the answers for everyone is and shall always be a sick joke.

So- heat? Absolutely!

Does everyone take it as hot as the next person? Certainly not.

Are we all really called to deal with, be patient with, apologize to,
forgive and sometimes cut ties with extremely hurting people? I think
the answer is “of course”… at times.

Or one can blow off serving others and simply stay as far away from
hurting, broken people as possible… and not face the fact we’re all
hurting, broken and sometimes disagreeable people who also drive
others nuts!

Grace is something to share, not grasp. Truth is something none of us
has the final understanding of in this life- only God fully sees the
entire picture clearly and is absolutely correct in all His dealings
with us!

So heat is part of this life. Thank God- because of Jesus we don’t
have to face it in the next!

Meanwhile, it is what it is. Bless Him, the Comforter/Counselor/God
the Holy Spirit carries us through.

Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn