What a perfect name for an incredible woman of God.

This past Thursday evening we bid goodbye for now… to a Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, mentor, pastor and dear friend.

I have publicly stated for some 35 years or more that Dawn Mortimer was the most godly person I’ve ever known. I’ve actually known quite a few, but none as consistently gracious, wise, loving, kind at heart and typically concerned with justice for the underdog. She was my mother-in-law but more a mother to me than my own Mom.

She loved Jesus and the larger as well as local church her entire life.

When hard-nosed church folk treated us with less than love, respect or at times even sense, she was the peace-maker, the kind one, but also the one who stuck up for the misfits and vagabond, scruffy ones.

She was not without her flaws but they were few.

This amazing daughter of God routinely spoke with compassion and mercy about some of the most taxing, selfish people we’ve ever worked with in ministry.

Back in my Rez Band days, when nobody else in the room seemed to understand my musical and especially lyrical ideas she “got it”, again and again, helping to explain and interpret what I was trying to convey.

If she decided I was being stubborn, ignorant or both (on more than a few occasions over the years) the hardest words she ever had for me were: “Well, just think it over, really pray about it and do what the Lord tells you”.

In such moments we both knew her assessment of the issues were biblical, loving and sound… and that I needed to take them to heart and act accordingly.

As the years passed her emphysema became more pronounced and at 80 years of age, her mind sharp but body failing, it was clear her graduation to heaven was at hand.

I had prayed for several months that the Lord would take her gently in her sleep. By His grace, that’s exactly what He did appx. 5:30 Thursday afternoon, March 27, 2014.

I could not be more certain that I’ll see her again in the presence of God. Well done dear Mother and Friend!

We and this needful world have lost an incredible gift.

Thanks to all for prayers for her wonderful husband Curt, family, extended family and church.

With Love and Deep Affection,



I’ve often mentioned my support for service persons with the caveat that I have never supported each and every deployment.

I do believe we need a strong military as well as reduction of deployment by either political party in power when it seems the actual cause is either political or merely to gain financial advantage of some sort… which frankly, I think we’ve been doing for most of the history of the U.S..

In JPUSA’s work with the poor and homeless of Chicago via Cornerstone Community Outreach it becomes obvious that many returning vets end up in the street, deal with mental illness, addictions and loss of family and hope itself. It is essential we give more than lip service support to these who have laid their lives on the line for us. To survive the hell of combat only to end one’s life after re-entry to civilian mode is sad, horrid and something we should care about.

Applause, cakes, parades and medals don’t get it done.

At present this country averages 22 military-related suicides each day. Twenty-two! That there is even one such act per day is horrible.

I have a close friend who recently lost a loved one to suicide. I sensed the pain and suffering not only of the individual but of loved ones left behind.

While the U.S. Veteran’s Department does a good work, it is under-funded and under-staffed.

I ask you to consider supporting the work of the former soldiers who have decided to bring this matter to light to make a positive difference. Please click on the following link and prayerfully consider what you might do to help.


Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

The Web Web

Anyone who knows much about me knows I LOVE computing, Linux-based operating systems, the internet and freedom of speech.

A great many peeps in my 5k friends list in Facebook posted about either giving up Facebook or all social media for Lent, and/or the veracity (that is, truthfulness) and increasing bloat of negativity they read there and via Twitter, etc. at the present time. In social media as face-to-face life, some people vent to the point of others getting tired of it.

For years I’ve known people who avoid most all news in that so much of it is about murder, other horrible crimes and natural disasters with just enough “general interest” or “positive”, feel-good stories thrown in to counter the sick and the miserable stuff.

I love the news and find it much like food: you can eat junk or healthy stuff, exercise or not and the results are your own, great or horrid, no?

I rarely trust everyone’s motives, depth of knowledge and even less, wisdom in using the Web for personal or shared info. because I understand the stuff called propaganda, politics, general news often being pumped out purely for some sort of profit. It’s too easy to fall for what we were warned about years ago re. “yellow journalism” in the press. And yet I’m a news junkie, listen to news radio constantly, read several news services online daily and keep up with several social media outlets that are Web-based along with multiple tv broadcasts and documentaries.

Even in light of all this, the use and abuse of sound-bites that at times may even intentionally lead people -from- rather than -to- the truth on an issue, I think the press is too easily blamed for it’s actions when it seems they may (read that “may”) exhibit bias.

I’ve done plenty of interviews and learned a long time ago editing can turn you into Jesus or the devil with just a few words. And sure, ratings are THE deal in media industry, shock “journalism” and disaster stories often peak ratings like nothing else. It IS a biz, even among Christian peeps.

If we were all honest, we’d admit we LOVE bias we agree with and may even hate bias we don’t, press or otherwise…

I further believe very few people are willing to put in the time to exegete information as opposed to isogete it. Like in Bible interpretation, we exegete to discover the truth of what we read regardless of our personal desire, position or merely trying to gain the upper hand or win in any sense. We isogete to find “proof-texts”, some sort of material that agrees with our already-held views that are directly linked to personal desire, position, gaining the upper hand and ultimately, to WIN. Did someone say “ethics”?

Are we really trying to take great pains to get at reality or merely seeking to create a fantasy others will accept as such?

This scenario is almost as American as apple pie. Making a buck and persuasion. Spin. Cashing in. Drawing you in. See… flick a few rhyming words and even a lyricist can play the game to make a point. So… what’s my point in this blog?

I ask you to consider the internet as you think about the following Bible verses with a view to truth, motives, gaining advantage vs. intellectual honesty, personal integrity and genuine care for human beings whether or not you agree or disagree with them about anything:

Daniel 12.4 “you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run back and forth, and knowledge shall be increased.”

Knowledge is one thing, wisdom (what to do with knowledge, and at core, whether the “knowledge” is factual information or merely stated as though it is) is quite another.

In the present information age, it seems to me there is plenty of one and not near enough of the other.

And did you notice I’ve not even mentioned gossip or slander yet?!

I have friends who hard-core disagree with one another and some who think I’m crazy to like or maintain friendship with the “other”. What some of them say to or about each other online is at times nearly a blatant testament to their love or lack of it, wisdom or lack of it, heart after truth or simply disgust and shock at how “they” could be “so stupid and wrong”.

As I wrote in an earlier blog this year, from time to time I de-friend someone, typically on the basis of what I consider over-the-top political mud-slinging and diatribe. Propaganda. Harsh and nasty word-bombs. When it seems they spew out sludge of this sort regularly, I finally think my Facebook account needs bleach.

These, my friends, are just too much the norm for some folks. Depending on your position, some love such use of language.

This is the glory and tragedy of free speech. Nothing new under the sun, just new, international (cyber) ways to toss it out in the street.

Mature? Loving? For my Christian friends I’d simply ask which Galatians chapter 5, verses 22 and 23 fruit of the Spirit are we referencing?

Jesus has the last word, and will:

“For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”.

Thanks for considering, and for stopping by! -Glenn

A Sad But Important Anniversary

This Monday, 24 March, 2014 will mark the 34th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. For the past year, through music, film and performance, we have sought to tell the story of this remarkable man. There are strong indications from the Vatican that he will be declared a saint in the not too distant future. He is, however, already recognized as both a martyr and a saint by millions around the world.

We are asking you to help spread his story – a story of faith and of courage, a story of what it means to follow in the steps of Christ.

Even if you have seen it before, click to watch the video below… be shocked by the actual gunshots (recorded by a nun who was in the chapel at the time)… hear his words of hope that form the lyrics of the song… then forward this to at least one friend.

Romero’s message of social justice, non-violence and self-sacrifice are needed today as never before. We’re asking you to be partners in spreading that message.

With love to you all,
The Project
Michael Glen Bell and Duane W.H. Arnold

Electric Blues-Rock Guitarist Extrordinaire

“Ladies and Gentlemen,from Appleton, Wisconsin: SOUP!”

If you could care less about electric guitar virtuosity and expression, stop reading now.

Yep. Cosmic. Songwriting, tripped-out hippie psych, depth, blues/rock, jazz elements, country, bit of pop and rock… brilliant drummer, bass player and likely the best unknown guitarist you’ve never heard of named Doug Yankus. Please read on, this one is not for the faint of heart.

When asked I’ve often mentioned my main electric guitar mentors are Rory Gallagher (Taste, etc.), Jimi and certainly Albert, B.B. and Freddie King. There are others but these carved a love of blues and blues-rock in my heart and brain to make me want to really learn electric blues guitar. But there was and is one more person on the list I rarely mention.

When I was coming up in Milwaukee as a teenage singer/guitarist and eventually band leader strung out on blues and blues/rock, I saw a LOT of live shows. One
of the best bands I caught many times in both Milwaukee and Madison was the three-piece version of Soup. They also had a keyboard player on occasion but I don’t recall seeing him on stage, personally.

Each of these guys could play rings around most musicians in Wisconsin and for that matter, the Midwest, but never caught the legion of fans I always thought they would.

Their principal songwriter, vocalist and absolutely stunning guitarist Doug Yankus was, like the band, rather beyond sonic description. To say he was light-years beyond most anyone I’d heard then or since is hardly an understatement. In the late 60’s and early 70’s you cannot know how shocking his talent was to most of us.

They were so good live I often wondered looking back if it was all the weed, acid or booze I’d been hitting all day… but indeed, here is a live cut to clarify.

Though their music was super-creative and truly all over the map in terms of styles, for my guitarist friends here is a 20 minute live track (“I’m So Sorry”) that was their signature closing tune each night I heard them.

This trip-ed-out blues number blew the roof off nightly. I can tell you from experience that what you’re about to hear was pretty accurate as to what I heard several times.

Drums are far down in the mix, sound quality what you might expect in 1970, live recording etc.. Hard critique from some would say it’s a bit too frantic, band could’ve been a bit tighter in spots, Doug is slightly gone in this little lick or two, but I say have a nice day. The sheer talent and passion here leaves me thinking most of us couldn’t tie the guy’s musical shoes, not 44 years later.

I truly consider myself E-I-E-I-O on guitar when I hear Doug.

OK- some of you after this build-up will likely not finish the song out because Doug and band get flippin’ nuts at the end… but if I could dare you to finish this one song out you’ll understand partly why in some moments I get as intense and frenetic playing guitar as I do, hear one of my major influences in music, and understand how completely over-the-top amazing this guitarist was.

Sadly, Doug passed away years ago, from what I’ve heard, due to complications with diabetes.

Fasten your seat-belts- Start at 19:40 or so…

Yep, I’m still crazy after all these years:) -Glenn

One Day Starts Now

Do most people long for a day with no struggles, no temptation, no pain? Hey, it’s primary election day in Illinois!! HA… well, that’s the least of our worries. But even there we find apathy and distrust, along with worry.

No wonder- people often prove un-trustworthy.

I have been working through Mother T’s brilliant poem which I suspect many reading this blog have read before. What an incredible bit of writing attributed to her and supposedly on her wall as a daily reminder. And oh, there seems to be two versions for she borrowed from one writer and made some changes. Both are amazing… whew!


One day all of this will be “a done deal”. The pains of this world will be over.


Scripture tells us that those who follow Jesus have a “blessed hope” and in fact refer to our God as “the God of hope”. It further mentions those in the present who are “without hope and without God in the world”.

At the end of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 Paul accents “faith, hope and love” as core essentials. I would say to believe in love one must have faith. Without trusting in God and in general accepting life “as it comes” while trusting in God’s love for us, hopelessness seems a given.

My personal experience has been that severe “ups and downs” happen. From a largely un-controllable (by humans) environment, natural disasters, illnesses, people-spawned wars, drunk driving (only last night heard another horrible, sad report from friends who lost a mother and her daughter due to another’s drunk driving…), various addictions and simple lust for whatever one might lust after- this is a world that contains potholes. In some places large and even deadly potholes.

Being a Chicagoan I can tell you that unless you really pay attention there are spots in the roadway that we might call “Volkswagen traps”, quite large.

Sometimes you see them in advance, sometimes you’re in one with no sense of forewarning. See, this is life on earth while on earth.

I’ll add that self-medication of any sort never fulfills nor takes away the hunger for authentic, sacrificial, loving relationships- especially one with God. Without Him and without others, the most-used drug is self and personally-eroding choices.

I’ve seen people choose both of these, the life-giving and the destroying stuff sometimes swapping from one to the other in less than a day. I’ve done it myself.

The choices are always before us.

One day the battles will be over. And then… and then the reality of our choices will kick in for eternity.

Did the Lord Christ rule us, or did we assume such authority ourselves, or give someone else ultimate authority while passing through life on earth?

HUGE question with massive ramifications.

Jesus Christ is my Lord and risen Savior, period. Regardless of the cost, I follow Him. That’s His choice and my choice. Whatever that relationship costs, so be it.

One day every eye shall see Him, every knee will bow.


Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Healing… or Not

I believe as I have for over 40 years, that God can and often does heal with no help from doctors- and I also believe Paul the apostle had Dr. Luke by his side for good reason.

“Paul left Trophimus in Miletus sick” is, among several passages (such as “Timothy, take a little wine due to your frequent stomach ailments”) in the New Testament a testament to the both/and nature of God’s hand on our lives while we live on this planet.

Did Paul and these brothers have sin in their lives, lack of faith or ?? Please! The Spirit did a LOT of miracles through Paul. Why did he write such things and not either encourage or correct their error of sin, or unbelief… or for that matter simply tell them to get others to pray for their healing?

Healing is not simply a matter of faith, sin and God’s willingness to heal. It’s also a matter of God’s wisdom, timing and reasons while at present often only seen “through a glass darkly” by us.

What does a biblical phrase like “and His ways past finding out mean”? That any human has full understanding and perfect interpretation of all scripture? “It says” and “it also says” are often in the back of my mind when considering doctrine and theology.

Some will say I’m copping out on biblical faith, have no knowledge of the Spirit’s gifts and working, maybe even God’s love for us and absolute power to heal, absolute promises in His Word.

Were that the case it would be easier to explain how John Wimber, his son Chris and others of the greatest faith healers of modern times often died with various illnesses- though the Holy Spirit via them truly brought certified physical healing to some thousands of people world-wide!

One of several problems all people of faith have is answering the un-answerable and frankly, “if anyone thinks they know they know not yet as they ought to know” sums it up for me. That too, is God’s Word to us.

I personally heard John Wimber say (as he did to me, personally) on many occasions “I pray for some and they are healed. I pray for some and they die. I don’t know why.”

We so want our theology and doctrine wrapped up nice and tight but why God does or does not intervene as we think He should or even “must” due to promises of Jesus seemingly “absolute” in their meaning is a mystery and will remain so until we see His face in heaven.

I both worry and am so very tired of people falling away from faith in Jesus, at times pretty much based on what they did or did not get from God regarding healing or other requests.

Tozer’s overview line about preaching and teaching in extremism was”nickel-in-the-slot-theology”. In other words, read, believe, name, essentially demand God do X, Y or Z for you or your loved ones and that’s that. Until it isn’t, and sometimes doesn’t happen. So many have gotten bitter at the ministers and/or the church preaching without wisdom as such calamities took place, and plenty consequently blame God for the tragedies they experience.

There are many passages and stories in the New Testament much less the historical record of the broad church that rather clearly shout “sometimes the answer is ‘Not the way you think'”! Sometimes the answer is “No” and only God knows why!

I have personally fasted and prayed and experienced as well as seen others healed of things as basic as headaches and intense as cancer and other illnesses in no less that miraculous ways. I have also officiated and attended funerals of folks whose life story offered nothing short of depth of biblical faith, deep love for God and others, commitment to Jesus, righteous acts and who along with many others had claimed the same promises of the Lord with regard to healing.

Do I believe in the true, loving, healing Jehovah Rapha of the Bible? YES. Do I think He is true to His Word? YES. Do I think anyone on earth has gotten a solid formula down as to how to somehow produce 100 percent “what we want or are even convinced we need” response from God for each and all occasions? Absolutely not.

This has never discouraged me from praying for healing (and of course, other things) as I believe the core matter is not healing nor even answers to prayer but relationship to God which often happens best as a result of need coupled with a sort of “searchlight” from Him on our truest love(s).

In other words, our spiritual depth of closeness to Jesus and personal discipleship are in part, exposed, challenged and strengthened when we do -not- get what we want. Our center becomes God rather than ourselves, those we love or merely our self. Is this fun? Personal cross-bearing NEVER IS. Relationships to God as to others who, unlike Him, will always bring us face to face with others’ and our own flaws will always involve pain and loss. There is no avoiding these in this life.

Far too many have strayed from Him, His Word and His people as things didn’t go as they wished because they couldn’t, wouldn’t or were not at peace with the apparent “No” for an answer.

Do I LIKE this? No.

But like Job, I wasn’t there nor did He choose to ask me about how things should be done when He made the universe.

God HEALS! He does it daily in and among plenty of people all over the world. He does it miraculously and via doctors.

God at times, for His own reasons and “ways past finding out” does not always heal.

I still trust Him more than either myself or other human beings… for good reason.

If faith and love depend on God only and always doing things as I wish, they are neither the gift nor fruit of faith mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5… nor His “agape”love.

Things to consider on an extended winter’s day here in Chicago 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Heaven. Really?

“Now I know in part”, “now we know in part” (1 Cor.13). For now let’s leave aside the interpretation that some claim- “but when that which is perfect is come…” they understand to mean the Bible. I do believe it’s the Word of God but cannot sanely argue anyone perfectly understands or interprets it!

In light of this, let’s discuss… wait for it… the concept of HEAVEN!

Yes, heaven, not HELL!

See, we know there’s a lot of discussion about hell or such a concept, whether soundly or wishfully interpreting the Book on the subject, whether it’s real or not. Most people I know don’t like to discuss hell… or hope it’s not real. Imagine. But… “imagine there’s no heaven” ‘eh?

What I want to consider is something other than separation from God, namely:

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING “to a Better Place”?Pie

I don’t know any sane person who genuinely wishes for eternal damnation, but it always amazes me that so many people talk of everyone ending up in some sort of heaven after we die.

So, no hell, but there IS a heaven? You’re fairly sure the one is non-existent, but have a sort of “wishdream” (to quote a cool Bonhoeffer term) for some sort of peaceful, eternal bliss somewhere? Hmmm…

So there is no “apartness” from Him (but do you believe in some sort of heaven-place yet no God? Hmmm…) even though most of your life on earth was generally spent as though you were the center of your life?

I know, I know, modernist, Greek-based logic from an old guy. Sorry. Makes sense to me. But hey, anything goes and I could truly be wrong, correct?

Certainly, our bodies decay (if not cremated) and that’s that. Worm-food. THE EEEEENNNNDDDDD. Um, did you say “better place”?

Apostle Paul said, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15.19)

It would take me many, many blogs, a very large book to explain the many personal convictions I have, the near-countless “proofs” that convinced me beyond any rational sense of “coincidence” that Jesus is risen, that what He says about the kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven and hell are true. Some would love to imagine His words on these matters are mere mythology.

A.W. Tozer said something like “If a person believes in an imaginary Savior they will have to be satisfied with an imaginary salvation”.

Funny how people will quote Jesus’ words as an amazing, positive teacher and cool dude but when He used “hard words” and what we conclude is the “negative” stuff we (including plenty of Christians) run for the exit. So be it. The sun and rain both hit the saved and the lost- and yes, I know that’s not the exact quote from the Gospel.

The good news is bad news to a lot of peeps. It’s “an offense” says Paul, who should know seeing he was beaten close to death on several occasions and, if tradition is more than mere tradition, he may have been martyred for his “mythological faith”.

The fact is, I only have assurance of eternal LIFE as opposed to something other because of what Jesus said and did for me (I’m convinced) on the cross and via an empty tomb.

For me, it all began hearing His Word, personal conviction He was speaking to me directly in my mind over and over during several months, and a looooooooooooooooooong list of events that all brought me literally to my knees. At present, I’ve experienced another 43 years of the same. No exaggeration!

No big bang (if there was one, I’m convinced HE made it go “boom”) assures anybody of anything but worm and plant food after our bodies drop from zero air, heart failure or whatever.

If you hear me saying “I’m personally convinced to the max”, you’re hearing me right.

Now- I don’t expect everyone to have had the same, rocking and stacked-deck experiences I’ve had. I don’t think everyone even WANTS to think all that deeply about personal relationship to Jesus Christ, the Risen King… Who brings people into the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, HIS kingdom through faith and surrender. But I trust Him more than I trust myself.

One King… neither you nor I. See, that’s the pinch and it’s in my view, one of the absolute key reasons plenty want nothing to do with Jesus.

So what’s heaven? From what I read and understand, it’s where God literally is. Yes, I know He’s everywhere all at once by His Spirit, but heaven is His primary abode where those who followed Him on earth will eventually be gathered. It’s where Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, and it’s “the place” He has prepared for those who love and serve Him.

Do you think you’re going there? Why do you think that?

You don’t have to answer me, I’m of little consequence in this world.

I am convinced (said that a lot in this blog, ‘eh?) that He loves you more than anyone and knows how to write on your wall as He did mine.

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, and “Neither is there any other name given under heaven (hmmm…) among people by whom we must be saved”. That name, is Jesus.

DO you follow Him?

How on earth do you have any assurance of “a better place” if you don’t?

If you didn’t have your gps app going, had no map and nobody around to ask and were trying to drive somewhere in particular, would you be so vague about how to get there? You think facing eternity isn’t exactly like that for a lot of people? Whew!

Things to consider. As always, thanks for stopping by!


Parenting- Today!

Good friends of ours have a great family including several boys. As most families they deal with various illnesses on top of average issues with kids, hormones, temptations as well as great joys as they experience their kids growing and maturing.

The parents are serious followers of Jesus and have also dealt with what most would call an overabundant load of cares due to illness, none of which the parents are responsible for.

Dealing with the “why” and “how can a loving God allow” X, Y or Z, they also have learned to take life one day at a time.

I understand that from a basis of my wife and I raising kids as well as my own battles with addictions (little of which, thank God, control my life today). Yet “one day at a time” is how I’ve learned to live, especially in the face of my wife’s illnesses (deteriorating hips, knee and other ailments) and of course, our aging as we’ve recently arrived at our sixties.

I also understand the struggles in that other family members and friends have also battled illness, have passed on or one way or another, shall.

One day at a time. As I think of this I often reference two verses of scripture, one being “this one thing I do, forgetting the things that are behind me and pressing on to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” and the other, “take no thought for tomorrow, sufficient to the day is the evil within it”.

As I’ve listened to individual stories of struggle by people seeking freedom from various sin, desiring freedom from pain, hoping for a new life in Jesus and among other Christ-followers I often quote these verses adding that I understand them as sort of “spiritual bookends”.

One tells us the past cannot be altered, the other that we are not yet living in the future. The pains and suffering of past days are gone though there may be both present and future suffering as the result of sin. The illness of the past is not always, thankfully, the illness we must face in the present or future. It may be… and may even be worse, but it will all eventually end. “This too, shall pass”.

We’ve not yet arrived in “the future”, are not assured we’ll live past the next minute! Regardless, there will come a time all of this will pass. Eternal life with Him and His people is part of the blessed hope we trust will embrace us in the end!

An alive faith in the power of the Risen Savior and His work in and among us -each new day- is the only solid, unchanging foundation for hope.

Hope of positive, personal change, healing, deliverance, genuine freedom is in my view and experience, wrapped in repentance where needed and trust in the unseen God. It is in the practical, about applying all of the Bible -commands as well as promises- to the issues at hand regardless of the issue(s) one day at a time.

Another friend of mine always responds “One SECOND at a time” and to that I say, “Yes, if need be, sure, yes”.

So the family I mentioned here are in a physical rehab moment with a child who cannot understand why the pain of exercise is essential to healing. Today she wrote his name followed by a comma and “the hardest job we’ll ever love…:)”! Sweet. Honest. Truth.

God sees all the details as well as “the big picture”. He knows the end from the beginning.

In a world of broken relationships, shattered marriages, split and acrimonious families, “anything goes unless I don’t like it” and a great deal of living in either the past or pipe dreams of a future some will never attain… there is Today, one day at a time.

There is loving and raising your child/children to the very best of your ability. There is embracing the joy as well as suffering of loving and interaction even when things look especially dark. There are certainly temptations to just give up and walk away from the pain letting “whatever” take it’s course with your kids- which plenty of individuals do, both as spouses and parents.

I’m aware that love can and even must at times, involve separating from your kids, etc., but for the most part that’s not the solution.

I’m certain Jesus wanted the pain to cease but He did not call down the angels and leave the cross -out of love for us.

I am so blessed to know a great many who have not simply “bailed out” of marriage and family in the face of great pain experienced during child-raising. I have sadly known a number who have.

Your kids may indeed at times be “the hardest job you’ll ever love”.

Phil. 4.13

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Addiction, Recovery

About three weeks ago I prayed with a good friend in ministry about addiction. He came to me for a listening ear and prayer which I was happy to give.

The addiction issues were not his, rather his devastation over a friend of his who got into horrible, destructive and finally criminal stuff. Neither  spouse, friends, local church, nobody suspected anything but the cops came and took him away along with evidence that is likely impossible to refute.

My friend was understandably shaken.

His buddy’s personal life, job, marriage and probably church relationship is shot through and through and since then it came about that he’ll be behind bars for quite some time.

Addiction, money-making and living a lie as well as repeated choices to avoid honest, open accountability regarding his drug of choice brought him to complete ruin.

What may prove to be part of his process of redemption is the fact he can no longer live a life of pretense. There were solid people all around him but for fear, pride or mental issues and perhaps more, he just never opened up about his sin. Hopefully, he can finally talk with a chaplain or two on a regular basis and begin to find authentic freedom in Christ though behind bars.

I’ve met some brilliant, amazing and genuine chaplains in Chicago, around Illinois and in other U.S. states over the years. I’ve also met chaplains who, though I’m surely not God and of course cannot be certain, may not themselves be Christ followers. The same goes for guards and other officials in our justice system. Nothing new about any of this.

BUT… my friend’s friend may well finally land somewhere and link (IF he chooses to and is serious about his own healing and need of change) with one or more godly folks who will walk alongside him through the mess he’s made of his life.

Then again, I have seen it go both ways.

What I do know is that without such honesty and genuine relationships, without regularly, actively dealing with one’s own recovery it ain’t gonna happen. Freedom from addiction doesn’t blow in with the next breeze. That’s what sails are for… and someone has to run them up the mast even WHEN the wind blows.

I didn’t relate the many stories of my own experience nor that of plenty of Christian folks who have played the game and eventually paid the price… but I did tell my buddy some of the other things I’ve mentioned here.

I also told him a true story of full-on redemption I was able to witness in another city first-hand years ago where a bro. was on the edge of wrecking his marriage, local ministry and a lot of other fallout that did not happen. It came to a great and screeching halt because when he was confronted by loving people close to him, he confessed, repented, got truly accountable and has walked that way since.

The fruit of his life, family and ministry is sweet, AMAZING and indeed, eternal. YES! I am so thankful to be able to share such hopeful stories as there are far too many that went the other direction.

Well… as the old carnival barker saying goes, “Ya pays yer quarter and ya takes yer ride!”

You, I and all reading this need to “take heed how we stand lest we fall”.

God reminds us how gracious He is to deliver from addictions.

I also thank God for recovery churches who focus on such matters regularly as they also can and often are a major bridge to healing and freedom in Christ.

My nation and most others are in ever-greater need of more loving, godly folks who both speak and live the truth in love alongside broken people. I’d like to think such need will decrease but by what I see in the culture/s that isn’t going to happen at present, if ever.

I learned years ago I cannot fully “fix” anyone -not even myself. At the same time there is a God who can and a good many people whom He uses to help us in the process. But for that grace I’d have been dead due to addiction issues many years ago.

You may have a family member or other loved one who seems too far gone to be changed by the power of Jesus and His gospel. It ain’t so. Not until their last breath… and you won’t know until heaven that they did not cry out for forgiveness and mercy… God regularly speaks to people in all sorts of places we consider too far away from Him to have any life-changing effect. I’m here to say I’ve been there and follow Jesus with a very different life than I lived prior to walking with Him.

One of the most intense moments I’ve ever had with the Lord was as I was about to climb on a stage after doing dope all day, deeply convicted about my life and addiction. Everyone around me was loaded and getting more stoned, drunk or both. I prayed in repentance, broke down crying at my sin and in a split-second all the drugs and booze I’d been taking in all day disappeared as if I’d never touched them at all. Fact.

That day was the beginning of a very different, real walk with the Risen Jesus.

My prayer is simply this:

God have mercy on us!

God have mercy through us!

God grant you hope!

Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn