“Recovery” Podcast

Fresh GK podcast on Recovery:

http://gkaiser.podbean.com/e/recovery-1410397870/

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St. Louis Area Weekend

20140927_12573220140927_125753Just very kind people, great bands, 20140927_170553solid witness, care for homeless folks. 20140927_170850and Sun. service20140928_092253 a gift to me.

Now most of the week with Wendi, then on to Hebron in Indiana with Project 12 staff and students. Looking forward!

Here are some pics from STL and Hillsboro, MO.

Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

GK Notes- Creativity and Imagination Class

I’m closer than ever to publishing a separate blog here in Word Press that focuses on Art and Creativity with many links to Christian folks who do likewise, particularly in teaching, missions and the like. Stay tuned, I will publicize it soon as it’s ready for the world 🙂

Meanwhile, as I’ve finished my notes/overview for the upcoming Project 12 Discipleship classes I’m teaching in October on Creativity and Imagination, here is that overview and a few points.

Be aware, what follows here is only the overview- there are a number of core, related verses of scripture, many key definitions, a -lot- of quotes from far and wide as well as several specific exercises we will do to bring it all into practical creative moments together 🙂

For more on P12: http://project12.us/

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Project 12 Creativity and Imagination Class
“The Gathering”- Oct. 2014

GK’s NOTES:

My own thoughts on an artistic, creative life, certainly true in my personal life experience- might be summed up like this:

CLASS ONE
A. Inspiration B. Imagination C. Imitation D. Fabrication

I’m inspired. I begin to imagine an artwork. I may copy one or many different people’s work in order to have a sort of path or road to whatever it is I’m creating. Sometimes I do this consciously, sometimes subconsciously. Then I make “it” and consider it’s value either to myself or if I think it worthy, to/for others.

CLASS TWO
A. Creativity B. Flexibility C. Fresh Ability

Creating (mostly, for me) seems the easy part. Being flexible and willing to begin with X and end up with Y or Z is part of the journey, not always as fun. Through the process of discovery, learning and growing I realize (often in retrospect) that I’ve learned something new (at least to me) about creating. My own “toolbox” has grown larger, I have more “colors” to work with than I did before risking creating in a new, fresh, often collaborative way.

CLASS THREE
A. Learning B. Keeping C. Sharing

Life, in my view, seems either a continual stream or a stagnant mud puddle. Either I’m learning, growing, and regarding what I’m creating, keeping it to myself (not always wrong, sometimes exactly right!) or I’m sharing, gifting someone or someoneS with what I create. This takes patience, knowledge, actual wisdom (what to -do- with the knowledge) and relationships! It seems to me loving God and others via our creativity, art and creative offerings are what creators in THE Creator are all about!

12 Steps?!!

Had a great series of chats a couple of weekends ago, several with a pastor friend of mine about Twelve Step and such programs.

He said some Christian peeps can’t figure out why a person who has been clean and sober for years would still attend meetings. It’s like “Jesus has set you free, what do you need that stuff for”?

He said he’s come to the conclusion that sometimes it may just be God wants him there for younger strugglers who need to see an encouraging example of sobriety, an honest walk with God which by Christ’s grace is what he has.

I agree.

The founders of AA (which of course inspired NA, SA, OA and etc.) were believers who in fact decided that it would be better to bring someone to God in a process that includes at core, for them to face their absolute powerlessness over their addiction, than to let them suffer and in some cases perish with zero help.

The issue is around “God as I understand God”, that is, other religions and various spiritual beliefs (not biblical nor true as per solid Christian faith and relationship with Jesus Christ) where someone may get free of their addiction but not know the risen Christ.

I get that. I even agree with the concern and problem with this. I also don’t think walking by the person in the ditch unless they respond to the Gospel of Christ is what loving one’s neighbor is all about. Ever study the “spiritual beliefs” of the Samaritans? Makes you wonder why Jesus used one as the prime right example to the… wait for it… an “expert in the law” of God. Remember as Jesus tells the story in Luke 10.25-37, it was a priest and a Levite (both of these guys should be truly holy), two out of three who just kept going.

Core points are that the man coming to Jesus asked about inheriting eternal life, what should he do? Loving God and neighbor supremely of course. So the Book tells us he then asked “wanting to JUSTIFY HIMSELF” (which only Jesus and His blood can do…) “who is my neighbor”?

Jesus gives the punchline that is summed up in one word: “mercy”. Actions that demonstrate genuine mercy. On my part, me to you! On your part, you to me! On our part, to whomever our neighbor happens to be.

Oh how easy we dismiss God’s power to use means we dislike to bring positive, healing change to people.

Do I want to be righteous, right, correct in all my theology, doctrine, methodology? OF COURSE. Do I think there is salvation in any other name than that of Jesus Christ? NO. Do I think believers (including myself at times) can be a bit thick and even a bit cold-hearted when it comes to suffering, down-and-out addicts? Indeed I do, as I’ve seen it here and there over my lifetime.

I think my pastor friend got it right.

Further, as each of the steps have solid biblical basis (you can find that by a simple thorough web study if you look) the real question is not why saved believers attend such meetings but why more churches don’t offer them?

By the way, both my wife and I have been there, done that, speak at various such meetings and frankly, I get something good (spiritually, yes) every time I attend one. I have both The Bible and The Big Book (AA) in my Kindle and turn to the second one off and on, reading through and considering the Steps along and along my journey.

Both my need and my need of compassion are met there.

And my Higher Power- Jesus Christ- never fails to show up.

Some things to consider… and thanks for stopping by!
-Glenn

Recording Therapy :)

Most reading this have heard of music therapy, but have you tried experiencing it by process of recording song ideas?

While it’s true not all musicians are also song writers, writing via recording happens and you never know if you have the ability or at least aptitude unless you try.

When you realize there are a -lot- of freeware music programs available for nearly any computer operating system, tablet, phone and such, why not record your song ideas? If you never do anything but consider it an “audio sketchbook” of sorts and allow yourself the freedom and fun of learning whatever instrument(s), singing and vocal techniques, bass, drums, hand drums, uke, harmonica, cigarbox guitar, 1 string diddley bow, spoons, washtub bass, patting your hands on your knees and singing… well you get the picture -errr… sound, ‘eh?

You might really have fun and even encourage others as the result.

See, some people journal (as I just wrote recently) but others might find it as much of a healthy “journaling” experience to record. There are free (yep!) 4 track recording apps for Android devices, free Garage Band (or the like) multi-track recording programs for Mac, Windows and Linux. All you need is a good mic or two, a little time and some ideas to put down in audio form.

I’ve been doing this for years and some peeps actually like my ideas enough they’re often later recorded “for real” in pro studio form.

You really don’t know how a song will turn out until you try. I find creating songs nearly as much fun and satisfying as doing live shows, for me it’s one of the best parts about being a musician.

But you don’t have to spend hours doing it, nor seek to be the next “big deal” nor even to make a living from music. That’s not the point I’m trying to make here.

Think of recording a song as an audio snapshot, a sound-wave form of photography. When you have a bunch of ’em you have an album even if it just sits on your hard drive, or you burn a few cds or email a few mp3s to family or friends.

Lastly, I don’t think I progressed as a musician nearly as much as when I began to record my ideas, play them for others (even non-musicians who love music and gave me kind but honest critique) and so forth. In time I taught myself enough drums, bass, guitar, harmonica and the rest to actually get my ideas pretty well across in demo form.

After some years of this and with a lot of feedback from folks, I began to think I really did have a call on my life to make music, perform it, and even share some of those songs while leading worship.

Sound recording has never been easier for the average person than it is today with modern computing and apps.

Give it a shot )

And thanks for stopping by. -Glenn