Dogs and Teams

“Plays well with friends”. “A good sport”. “A good loser”. “Really cares about people”. “A good heart”. “Fun to be with”.

Surely there are those in the world that could care less if anyone ever truly thought any of those things about them. But how about you?

I don’t have a dog but my youngest daughter’s family does. I visit them often and get to hang out with Winnie. She really, truly seems to love me. I want God to “help me be the person my dog thinks I am”!

Then again, even on a sports team, say, a pro-football (soccer) or other team, there is something about caring, real friendship and being a committed team player that can endear you to the fans, the club and likely your employers.

The other afternoon I got to visit my girl and Winnie. Sweetness and light. Nice chat with my daughter and “Winnie therapy” for Grampy.Winnie

That evening I watched the final pre-season match of my fave football (soccer) club, Chicago Fire.

The last several seasons have been dismal to say the least. Near bottom of the league, losing games in the final minutes, just horrid.

Ok, it’s only pre-season, but they went undefeated the entire stretch of games. They beat the reigning league champion in their own stadium. Two-nil.

I am a serious soccer fan- especially Chicago Fire and USMNT and USWNT (United States Men’s and Women’s National Teams).

From a fresh goalkeeper making amazing save after amazing save and keeping “a clean sheet” on the night (no goals against); a defense that truly stonewalled a very good team all match long even though Portland likely put down a record for corner kicks in a game; a solid midfield that hustled and tough, quick, creative forwards who found the net twice in the first half and might have found it once or twice more… this squad- including bench- has promise.

New head coach and staff. New players. There were tense moments, Portland Timbers are a good side. There were slop moments, bad passes, missed chances, mistakes which of course are made by most players in most games regardless the sport.

Same for musicians in a band, people in any workplace, peeps who meet in a church congregation, etc., etc.. No surprise in this.

But what I saw in these latest matches was a team. A team who worked from whistle to whistle in commitment to a system, who supported one another, a new level of cohesion Chicago Fire has lacked the past several seasons.

There are plenty of reasons for the pre-season success. There will be losses this year. When you love a spouse, parents, brothers and/or sisters or yes, even a sports team there will be heartbreaks, not endless victories.

Yet this I know: when you show up, really Show Up and support one another, work together, share a passion based on love and are willing to work day in and day out as a team player, you will never lack a sense of purpose, meaning and will always have good work to do.

You may mature to the extent you are as grateful for team success regardless of being on the field or supporting “from the bench”.

Because that’s what a team player is: it’s about “us”. Together.

Ask yourself what I ask myself from time to time: what sort of player are you?

And -how close are you (and I!) to being “the kind of person my dog thinks I am”?


As always, thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚ -Glenn


When Culture Vs. Christ

glenn kaiser

Have you ever considered that any two people can use the same string of words and mean completely different things?

Hitler used Christian commentary as propaganda to convince people of his disgusting, policies -in order to gain political advantage.

Judas’ judgment against Jesus regarding the “waste” of the expensive ointment the repentant, grateful woman used to anoint Christ’s feet prior to His betrayal and execution is another example. “That expensive stuff could have been sold and the money given to the poor.” But Judas didn’t take that position out of love nor respect for those in poverty but due to his own self-interest in snatching money from the bag.

In essence Judas believed “Jesus was getting His”, so why couldn’t -he- dip into the purse and get what he wanted? Sick, but that’s the reality of sin nature in human lives.

Fear, anger and demand for control seem potently part of most evil in any culture.

I suggest to you in terms of politics- be they hard right or hard left, demanding control, anger and fear are surely no synonyms to faith, hope or love.

“Love is patient, love is kind…”. -1 Corinthians 13.4a

Indeed, anyone can say anything (and we do, especially via the Web these days).

So I was thinking about how to encourage those seeking to follow Jesus. In particular, how to clarify to inmates in a jail/prison situation the difference between the nature of God vs. the nature of humans who often cling to a particular cultural way of thinking rather than Christ… and who often confuse culture with the One and Only Savior.

Anybody’s culture can become the true master rather than the real God Who IS Love, Who is and deserves to be our True Master -and- Best Friend, Savior, Provider.

Here’s what I came up with:

Culture 5.22-23 Old Kaiser Version (OKV)

22 But the fruit of the spirit(s) without the Spirit of God is hatred, misery, tormenting agitation, a demanding impatience, unkindness, careless nastiness, faithlessness, 23 harsh bullying attitude, knee-jerk carelessness. Plenty of laws question and sometimes threaten anyone who disagrees with these “virtues” of culture.

Here is what God in His Word came up with:

Galatians 5:22-23 World English Bible Version (WEB)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law.

For greater clarity:

Culture often says “I have the right to whatever it is I want”. Christ in essence says “I give you the power to reflect the nature of God in a fallen, self-worshiping, deficient culture”.

Let’s be honest… we see both in as well as outside of Christian circles. God help us… or we play the “help-yourself” card and in the end confuse culture for Christ.

Tozer: “If you will be satisfied with an imaginary savior you must be satisfied with an imaginary salvation”.

As always, thanks for stopping by!


GK on Linux Operating Systems

In fact, I’m writing this on antiX Linux right now…


A free computer operating system that you can use on most any old (I mean Old) pc or laptop, virus-free which contains all the apps needed for daily work and play is simply all I want. Or need. And I found it long ago. Or shall I say “them”? SystemS.

The short form?

I only use Windows or Mac when I must, which is rare except for Windows 7 which my wife prefers on her home pc.

On my laptop, netbook, old boat-anchor pc and phone I use (in order) antiX Linux, Puppy Linux, Quirky (Puppy) Linux and Android (which is a tweaked Linux).


Web, social media sites, You Tube, playing music, photos and all the rest work fine on all these various Linux systems and machines.

All but the Android (which came with my Samsung Galaxy II phone) were downloaded by myself, transferred onto a flash (or thumb) drive/stick and either then booted into “live” which is how I use it on my old pc… or fully installed onto my hard drives (as in my laptop and netbook).

Each of these Linux “distros” (distributions) are at core (meaning, the Linux kernel off of which apps are run) nearly the same but the desktops each look and “feel” different. Which I like. I could set them up in fairly identical fashion but I like diversity.


Some apps are the very same, others different but do the same tasks. A small learning curve, but in the end I have the fastest, virus-free system I can find on each of these old and underpowered machines.

I began back learning computers and computing via CP/M systems (pre-MS Dos), then Ms Dos, next early-days Windows (up through Win2000) and finally landing and loving Linux and eventually Android. In the beginning we used huge, then smaller floppy drives. Seems like eons ago now!

For me, the challenge of learning and recognizing there were few risks if one regularly backed one’s information up gave me freedom to play a bit and I still enjoy trying out fresh ‘nix installs. For years this could be done by burning .iso files (on bootable cds or dvds) then re-booting machines that were able to load and access the system from the optical drive. I learned that if one had enough random access memory (ram) that a very small system could be entirely loaded into the ram. Eventually various programmers created systems that booted off of a usb stick, sd, or cd and dvd as well as the hard drive (once installed there).

So when Puppy Linux and a few others were made so EXTREMELY small they could be booted via any of these media, then the entire shebang loaded into the memory… well it them meant a machine didn’t even need a working hard drive in it! All that was required as a boot device was the bootable Linux OS on say, a cd or flash stick popped into a computer that was set to boot from either such drive and yahoo… you now had a really fast machine.


Where things were, sometimes on occasion are difficult, is in the arena of wireless network cards. Whereas the lion’s share of manufacturers only ported their network cards to Windows or Apple/Mac systems, Linux users had to wait until ‘nix geeks created drivers to access them.

Quite a few programmers are themselves Linux peeps so typically remedied this with drivers rather quickly, which were then made public and added to each new release (often quarterly if not [yes] nightly). Most active Linux systems (several hundred as I write this post) release updates which sometimes include many fresh fixes, new apps and what in their group’s views are quality and value increasing changes, often every few months. New and shiny. Free to try, modify keep, deploy on however many computers you may have.

Every so often I still boot a distro into a machine where that particular version of Linux cannot recognize the particular network card. It is extremely rare to have the same issue with a wired network card but of course most users go wifi these days. So it took/takes a little learning to understand Linux network programs in a given Linux distribution as to how to get them to find, then load and use the onboard network card. But for the most part, modern distros ship (free) with most drivers for most network cards these days. As one gains experience and uses the massive online tutorials, You Tube clips and forums all but the rare distro has available, one can learn how to do just about anything to tweak a system to one’s liking.

Funny how growing up in the sixties people talked about alternative lifestyles, alternative living and so forth… and ended up in a same-same “pop bottle” world where most all the penguins looked alike.

Funny too that Tux, the longtime Linux mascot is… a penguin! The variety of ‘nix systems from everyday home and/or office desktops, network storage, home audio/video systems, embeded web kiosks, audio and video creation and etc., is really quite amazing.

I just cannot simply talk about alternative, because sometimes, just sometimes, alternative is better and perhaps even the best way to do things -if one is willing to listen, learn and give it a go.

I sometimes default on a few of these machines to other Linux distros such as Austrumi (which is easily toggled to the English language desktop)austrumiLinuxScreenshot

or TinyCoretinycoreLinuxScreenshot

both extremely small and fast, quick to boot and very quick to shut down.

Certainly Linux is not for everyone. As in anything, your mileage may vary. I am admittedly a full-on fanboy… but I think for plenty of very good reasons.

Finally, you can websearch all of these and plenty more, but my daily go-to site for keeping up with Linux and like systems is

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Wendi Update :)

Honestly, we feel like my sweet girl has just won the lottery!

Finally had a meeting with her new surgeon today. After examination and discussion he told her she could get a shot in each knee for as long as it works for her, which means she can put off knee replacement/s for the immediate future and likely quite some time.

For her, severe arthritis is much about deterioration in the joints and between basic pain and that, one often finally has to do replacement and rehab, etc..

Wow. Grace. I SO dig it when my Queen tours with me!

Many thanks for prayers and continued prayers for her.

And now I can respond to more of those booking requests in July and August πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

May-June GK Tour

Just an fyi for all who might be interested.

I will be on the road with Wendi, sometimes she will join me in a set, sometimes not… depends on how she feels (arthritis, asthma) on the day, but we will be touring-

New York State, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio from appx. May 20 through June 13.

I’ll be bringing cigarbox and found object guitars along with “normal” gits, harps and maaayyybbbeeee a new solo record by then. One set will be electric blues/rock in the Lancaster, PA area and likely electric blues as well as my cbg blues in the Princeton, WV area, the rest largely country blues and chat.gkGrrrBox

Anyhow, plz don’t ask me for details now… they will be posted soon as all is set.

There are a number of shows happening prior and after this tour, but I am excited about this so thought it good to mention it early.

Thanks for stopping by my site! -Glenn

True Confessions of a Blues Fan

So just to let my readers in on my feeble brain as regards my love of blues music…

From as long as I can remember I loved different. Like, if someone had red hair and freckles I liked them almost immediately. As time went on I might not like ’em so much due to character and such, but “exotic” and “unique” was always a drawing card to me.

The other thing that called me outside my own “boxes” shall we say, was the underdog. Minorities not only held my interest because of what to me were often cool differences to my white culture, but also in that they were obviously looked down upon as “lesser”, mostly given less chances, less grace than people in white- and don’t miss this… dominant culture.

In my earliest days I loved the minor chords and basic progressions (music arrangements) in blues. I didn’t CARE if there were scratches and pops or too much mid-range or whatever in those old field recordings by John and later Alan Lomax, etc.. The music on those old records just sounded real, authentic, and that is core to my love of the idiom.

Certainly plenty if not all of the bluesmen and women were simply trying to survive, make a buck off of their talent. Most traveled, wandered all over the nation, many touring Europe years later in the 60s and 70s “blues revival”. As stated, for some it was perhaps mostly about making a living.

But I didn’t think “cash register” when I heard blues as I did in listening to most white music. Blues both sounded and felt Believable.

This is part of what I aim at in building and playing cigarbox and found-object guitars. That raw, no net, bring it from the heart and gut or go home sort of vibe. Having experienced poverty and country as well as inner-city life certainly affects my own music.

As a fan, a listener loving this stuff I was often able to overlook a not-so-well written song due to the sheer power of a blues artist’s performance. As a musician and song writer myself that’s a no-no, a technical problem. Great songwriting and arrangements are a huge part of excellence and not to be taken lightly. But as a listener I was and am often in awe of the heart and soul the mostly African-American artists put into their live and recorded work.

Chicago’s (my hometown since 1973) own Willie Dixon and of course the Delta’s Robert Johnson before him both wrote an incredible amount of well-written, strongly arranged songs. Yet even those songs became standards in part due to recordings pregnant with passionate delivery.

When you sound like you mean it, I can respect that -even if I fully disagree with you on a point here and there.

Hearing Rev. Gary Davis (for me, THE revelation of what flamboyant blues guitar and shout-singing could be!) and Blind Willie Johnson took me much further down the road. Son House, Huddie Ledbetter (aka Leadbelly) and plenty more in the acoustic country blues style just knocked me out with both songs and performance.

Still, to this day my phone is largely populated with Smithsonian and U.S. Library of Congress public domain blues, field hollers, prisoner’s songs and a few spirituals that were recorded long ago on early mono (not stereo) tape recorders “in the field”. Most people never heard these and even many blues fans never will.

The power of heart and soul vs. slick production is the quest and though I admit there is plenty of the latter in some present-day blues there are vast amounts of the former in the earliest records.

When you read the Lomax’s (and others) comments about this strange, beautiful, haunting music that they felt they just had to document with audio and bits of written commentary you get the feeling they had heard what I suppose I did when I first became aware of this music style.

Even the nicknames… say, Peg Leg Howell. Yep.plh

That genuine, gut-honest, real world did more for me than all the make-believe pulp sung by “entertainers”. Yet again, there is no doubt, entertainment was literally the business of the bluesmen and women, solo, duo or band from early times.

But as always, the power is in that sense of integrity I so often hear as the greats and nobody-you-ever-heard-of’s plow this sonic ground. Heart. Earth. Reality. Often coloring outside the lines of mainstream and falseness.

Re. “Signifying The Blues” by Robert Switzer

Though I believe the above excerpt is 90 percent spot-on, I fully disagree with the punchline of Charles Simic’s quote. Over most of my lifetime experience I find a daily relationship with the risen Jesus Christ not only real, in fact essential- but that He is Himself the elusive CURE of which Mr. Simic speaks. Blues music is to me the sonic blood of experience crying and calling out for the saving blood.

I’m also fond of reminding peeps that the Book of Psalms are largely laments. We live in a fallen world where pain is as natural as rain. Hmmm… sounds like a song in the works.

Well, these are just a few core reasons I love blues music.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Lent, Lint, Whaaa?

Yeah, being a lyricist I find my words-call-out-other-words on… well, just autopilot!

A malady of this is talking too much. Which I have done (!) all my life. God have mercy on listeners. Which is in part why I blog so much. Easier to edit, then hit “send”.

So last night we did our Ash Wednesday service. The beginning of the church calendar year of the season of Lent which as you can see, brought my brain to consider that stuff you see in the pic here.20160211_132438

Not the prettiest shot you’ll ever see in my blog posts, ha?!

Lent is about consideration that we came from dust, will return to it, are mortals, deal with a loving, immortal Father. It is also about considering one’s sin, repenting, a change of mind, heart -God is in the north and we so easily just head straight south unless we are paying attention.

Today was my weekly laundry day. My wife has asthma so long ago I decided I should do it each week. Cool. Except for that stuff you see in the photo.

Our place has 8 massive dryers. Each runs for a 45 min. cycle. I know, the environment: line-drying… which is something I love and if we had the space would do. Growing up in the country and when we had a lake place for many years I line-dried in the sun and wind plenty. But I digress.

Folks here get reminded every so often to clean the lint catcher in the dryers they use. I try to do it both before and after I use them, but of course sometimes we forget.

Now the beauty of all that lint is that if you like to camp or just need to start a fire in a fireplace or grill, ain’t nothin’ like lint to get a fire lit quick! Perhaps all lint is really good for is fire-starting. That’s a metaphor, but again I digress…

What some don’t realize is that it’s possible (though not a given) for lint traps to get so full they can get a large dryer to smoking and even start a fire. Clean ’em folks! Clean ’em.

Many protestants don’t practice spiritual cleaning all that much. Jesus took care of our sins on the cross so that’s over and done, right? The problem is that we still sin and need not only His mercy but also to individually repent, turn, really consider our thoughts, attitudes and actions toward God, others and ourselves. We need to “examine” ourselves, check our hearts before the Lord and when needed (myself daily) repent.

Lent- in the “high church calendar” can indeed simply be (like all other acts in ANY gathering of Christians) a mere religious ritual with little or zero meaning to us. No matter who you are, with whom, where nor -how- you “do” church as the church (assembly of Christ-followers) you can simply do it “by rote”, a mere “this is how we do things” while your mind, heart and life are disconnected from God and the reality of His desire in the gathering.  You maybe just showed up -but not in heart nor spiritual communion with God and others.

Or not.

Lint, like Lent, happens whether or not you notice, care, or bother.

Repentance- a command of God throughout His Word and indeed, in the New Testament Gospels and letters, is not optional. It is certainly not a one-time-thanks-God-overanddone deal regarding salvation only.

Man that lint can pile up!

Which is why some of us choose to consider and appropriate a specific time each year, a time to really focus on “getting the lint out” during Lent. God waits, speaks and works grace in the clay if we are willing to focus, listen and act on His Word to us.

I truly doubt many of us repent “on automatic”. Which is why reminders are good -though we’d rather just snatch up our laundry and forget about it.

We all want and need grace, forgiveness, mercy. God is THE source of these, and this is in large part why He “commands all people everywhere to repent and believe the Good News”. To come to Him. Laundry ain’t the only stuff needin’ cleansing on a regular basis.

Of course, the next person may be affected by our lack of caring. That’s another reason why Lent is a good idea. Come to think of it, “Lent” rhymes with “repent”. Hmmm…

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Wise Words re. Kosovo -and Beyond

As my love for football (soccer, the real footy) is deep, and our new Chicago Fire coach is Serbian born, I found it interesting he and other team coaches visited a Chicago Orthodox church last week in celebration of St. Sava.

This brought me to searching the web for yet another fresh look at the Orthodox Christian Church and in particular, the Serbian branch.

I then wondered what a Christian leader in such a time as the latest Balkan War (long history there… and a great deal of bloodshed between Islamic and Christian Orthodox peoples) had to say about Kosovo and such.

I often find things online that make me thankful for at least some modicum of sanity in our world.

The genocide (plenty but not exclusively done at the hands of Serbs) and both the good as well as botched work of the U.S. and United Nations forces are the stuff of documentaries of which I am familiar.

Regardless of your view (if indeed many of my readers even know enough of the history of Kosovo, etc., to HAVE one) I found the segment of an interview with a Serbian Orthodox Patriarch pretty amazing.

The section I quote indeed relates to current issues in the United States as I write (February, 2016). Please read and consider the words of, in my opinion, a very wise man.

The last two or three paragraphs fully rock in my opinion.

Dec. 27, 1999

“Wisdom will preserve us from wolves, and kindness will prevent us from turning into wolves.”

“While I was in Kosovo a Moslem priest wrote to me in 1989: “A principle according to which a man cannot prosper unless another human being fails is unacceptable for Islam.” So I replied to him: “This principle is also unacceptable for Christianity. The land of God is wide and large enough to provide room for everyone if we are humans. If we act like brutes, then there will not be enough room even if there are only four of us.” Both in the Bible and Koran, there are stories about Adam and Eve and their first two sons, Cain and Abel. Evil Cain murdered his brother even though there were only four of them. This is what it is all about.

On the other hand, no one let us choose a specific nation, race or parents before we were born so we cannot answer for that. There are people who hold us accountable and lay blame upon us precisely for this. So we must always be and remain humans in keeping with our Orthodox faith and God’s will as well as standards adopted by the people of good will, and eventually time shall pass and heal the wounds. Time is a divine sieve, it shall clear up the things, like the prince and bishop Njegos once said. The Serbs in Kosovo are in a very difficult situation since so many have been forced to flee, so many of them have been murdered, so many displaced persons… There are very few Serbs left who are suffering immense hardships. They are being attacked, kidnapped, innocent people disappear all of a sudden…

FS: Your Holiness, what is your view of the need for the Serbian people to return to Jesus Christ and Orthodox faith? To what extent have we removed ourselves from God?

We could see that even now, and it was so for fifty years after World War II in a one-party system when the people were materialistic and fought against the church. For us Orthodoxy has been a Christian faith which gave us identity when our ancestors as pagans came to these parts and converted to Christianity. At the same time they received their first alphabet and thus passed from pre-history into history. Afterwards, we entered the world of culture not only regarding literacy and alphabet but art, painting, architecture as well. We gave our sincere contribution to the world treasury of what is noble and sublime and that was Orthodoxy. Today when we take a look at our churches and monasteries like Gracanica or Decane, Pecka Patrijarsija, Bogorodica Ljeviska or Studenica and think of how much we could have contributed to humanity if we could have committed ourselves to this noble work, but then we endured slavery and hardships, and now this destruction… So many churches were destroyed, like the Church of Mother of God in Musutiste built in 1315 and monasteries from the 14th and 16th century… We need to return to these roots of our identity based on Christianity, our Orthodox faith. Having done so, it would be easier for us, even if vanish from the face of the earth, but let it happen as it befits human beings.

FS: Your Holiness, how could we revert to our faith and our roots? How could the Serbian Orthodox Church and Yourself help us in this task?

The Church has been preaching the word of Jesus Christ for last 2000 years: “What is to a man to conquer all the world and yet lose his soul”. Could these worldly goods make up for his soul? This was precisely the advice which mother Jevrosima gave to his son Marko: “Don’t you, my son, speak falsely to please others, but in keeping with God’s ways”. Therefore, our Orthodox faith has taught us to be and remain humans always, never brutes. There is no such thing which should make us resort to retribution like brutes do for crimes committed against ourselves.

When I was in Austria a few years ago at the celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the Church of Saint Sava in Vienna, an article was published that morning in a Viennese newspaper in which the author claimed that I had come to Vienna to “deceive the world”, that the Serbs were to blame for this war and that I had called on the Serbs to fight the war against everybody else in order to preserve a greater Serbia. So I reacted to this insinuation at a meeting where there were both the Austrians and the Serbs: “If the cost of preservation of greater Serbia implied crimes committed, I would never accept that. Let Great Serbia disappear. If a small Serbia is to be preserved by committing crimes then I would not accept that- let also small Serbia vanish into thin air. Even if the last Serb were to preserve himself by means of crimes committed and if I were the last of the Serbs, I would not accept that either. Let us vanish as a nation, but as it befits humans”.

According to the Christ’s teaching there is no interest either divine, family, national or personal to commit crimes as a retribution for crimes committed against ourselves and when we defend ourselves we should fight as it befits humans. For us the most important thing is to act like true Christians since Jesus Christ says: “Hereby I send you like sheep among the wolves”. We should indeed be true humans. In every time and in every society there will be people who would ridicule and mock you, who would take advantage of you and place obstacles in your path. Christ is not sending us forth so that wolves could tear us apart, but to show to the wolves by means of our faith and actions what it means to be the Lamb of God. But on the other hand, there is a danger that the lamb among the wolves might come to the conclusion that it could not survive as a lamb, only as a wolf, so it could sharpen its teeth, learn to howl, turn its hoofs into claws and become a wolf itself. This is not why Jesus Christ is sending us among the wolves, therefore he gives us the solution: “Hereby I send you like sheep among the wolves. Be wise like snakes and gentle like doves.” And this means that wisdom will preserve us from wolves tearing us apart, and kindness will prevent us from turning into wolves.

In other words, we could develop our intellectual abilities without limit, but under condition of developing our goodness and kindness at the same time, since our mind is like an internal eye helping us perceive what other living beings cannot possibly see. And mind is cold, sometimes it cuts through the heart. Goodness is warm, but blind. Well you see, when you unite and develop simultaneously both our mind and our goodness then you become a true human. Well, children, this is what it is all about. You could see for yourselves where this materialistic one-sidedness leads, this pursuit of pleasure. You could judge by your friends and relatives – how many children in elementary schools take drugs? To have mind and logic and develop them like a snake. The snake guards its head, so if you cut off its tail it would grow again – the head is what matters. While other creatures fight against each other for food, doves never fight among themselves for food. This is what the church has been preaching for centuries to our ancestors, this is what it preaches now for those who have ears to hear.”


Am I (Glenn Kaiser) aware of the genocide done via both main parties in Kosovo? Yes. I am also aware of sane truth based in God’s Word as a response (versus blind nationalism) to the horrors of human versus human. Or shall we say brute vs. brute?

Things to consider.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

“For REAL?!” Homeless-to-HOUSED.

I have a fresh music project available, for download only at this time. Read on please!

When I and my best buddies were coming up (in the 60s) and somebody said something that sounded “too good to be true” that was our go-to question: “For REAL? For REAL man?!”

Listening to politicians, considering what cause/s, area of need (charities) or mission/church you might give hard-earned money to and stewardship of what you have is ALWAYS important.

The city of Chicago has regularly sent people to a homeless shelter our fellowship opened many years ago because the need is so great. Veterans, “average” folks who have lost their jobs due to business closure, downsizing, etc., drug-dependent people, the mentally ill and on it goes- so many end up in the street.

People talk a lot about homelessness and the issues as to how and why and what to do. Do. Not merely talk. We must move beyond theory, opinion and words.

or directly to the project itself via:

WHY I love and do what I can for Cornerstone Community Outreach is simple: these are some of “the least of these” in our society (see Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter 25 for clarity). That and because we see the positive results in REAL people with REAL names. We serve people by grace, food, clothing, a place to sleep out of the weather, life skills training, help toward education, job placement and as they complete the program, permanent housing.

REAL story after story with photos of real people completing the CCO program who are now housed pop up regularly:


-and here:

Our friends at Mission USA/The Bridge have blessed us with the Homes For Heroes Chicago project to help fund the continuing mission of CCO. A large group of people who care donated time, talent and expertise to make it happen same as our daily work of grace-based relationships, life-change and eventual housing for so many via Cornerstone Community Outreach. For Real.

Please consider a download of the HFH project with a donation via NoiseTrade. We will update when it is also available via Itunes. On behalf of our CCO guests, clients and staff, Thanks so very much!

And as always, thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚ -Glenn

Moderation in Relationships Or… Else?!

Following up on Moderation blog I recently posted-

The all-too-often human response to any issue… and I mean nearly any issue -may end up extreme rage and utter rejection of the individual/s in question. How can one “love your neighbor as you love yourself” when fear and/or anger are the core engines of one’s attitude towards the other?

While obviously we cannot force reconciliation with someone who is not truly willing to engage, on my/your part the issues seem pretty clear: love calls us to try -and if such fails, to mind our attitude regardless. If we profess to be Christian, forgiving is an actual command of Jesus, not an option. We must pray for “the other” with a heart of kindness rather than disdain. “Do ALL you do in love”. But let’s bring this home regarding issues, shall we?

For most in the U.S. there are plenty of them!

Gun control, the death penalty, abortion, LGBTQ, Muslims and of course “Who are you gonna vote for?!” can bring us to very dark places of enmity. Maybe it’s only a neighbor you truly dislike or someone of a different theological perspective, a different “way” of “being/doing ‘church'” or??

No question that fear and anger are sometimes appropriate -but if fear mixed with anger control my heart attitude and words I am nearly sure to destroy any possibility of relationship with “them”. So how does anyone have any sort of authentic relationship with those we dislike, perhaps deeply disagree with to the point of private and public opposition?

For me the clincher as a believer is this: if you don’t sort this out you can forget being any sort of witness of Jesus and His love to this person or people group… and that’s on you, not them.

Read that again please.

Speaking as one who seeks to trust, follow and reflect Jesus- “the others” are flesh-and-blood human beings for whom we Christians believe Christ died. Okay, some of you don’t think He “died once for ALL” in the sense you believe He only REALLY did it for those who are “the elect”. No matter, because nobody but God Himself knows who is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, true? I suggest we put that straw man argument aside while we walk the earth.

“For God so loved the world” means everyone -regardless. Regardless of what? Regardless of everything and anything.

I am fully serious.

There is no sin (as I always emphasize, what the Bible clearly refers to in this negative way) for which one cannot be forgiven or released. Yes, there is “the unforgiveable sin” but as long as one can breathe and think toward Him, a person can repent and believe. God’s grace is extended to “whosover will, let them come”, whether or not you or I strongly dislike or disagree with them.

There are times you and I may not -want- to be part of the people/way through which “they” actually come to Him. Sick truth, but truth it is. WE must repent before calling them to do the same.

Some choose to ignore sin or argue endlessly whether or not X, Y or Z -IS- sinful, missing the mark of what God considers proper, right, helpful to a growing relationship with Him and others. But get this and get it soon as possible or risk any real ability to influence people towards Jesus Christ:

There is -no- gathering of Christ-followers on earth that is not populated with sinners. Saved, born-again, truly in relationship with Christ… yet sinners, each and all! I may be part of the reverse witness that trashes them right alongside their own iniquity.

Within or outside the churches, how do we expect to help people trust and obey Him when we attack them in anger and/or fear?

I speak from personal experience having done it and also being on the receiving end of such behavior.

I find it interesting that some in the churches (or non-church attending Christians, take your pick) err in grace (the better of the two extremes but wrong none the less if simply validating sin) while others blow it as the harsh, mean proclaimers of “truth” and “righteousness”. Which “false balance” is not “an abomination”? Moderation. “A word fitly spoken”. Prayer. Of course “a time to speak and a time to refrain from speaking”. “In all things, love”.

Genuine acceptance of the person while disagreement and even repulsion re. their sin is core to what I believe we must learn to navigate. It starts with me, not the other person.

Sin remains sin, the person remains a human being in need of God’s love -love via you and I, like it or not.

They may or may not ever follow Him but I must and must learn to love as He loves while indeed “hating the sins spotted by the flesh” as Jude aptly puts it.

Jude then writes about fear, but in context, fearing (respecting and trembling) at God and possible judgment, not fear of the individual in question.

Learning takes time. For both parties. We all make mistakes. Our own pendulum swings from one extreme to the other.

There are those (shall I call them “militant”?) believers who will be gracious to, for example, Jewish people who consider the Christian faith an aberration to genuine Jewish faith and practice. If pressed, some of these Christ-followers will admit they do not believe these Jews will be redeemed unless they follow Jesus Christ as Messiah, Lord and Savior. At the same time, the very same Christians will act out of fear and/or anger toward, for example, illegal immigrants.

One we like, the other we reject out of fear or anger or both.

Arabs, Muslims, illegal immigrants, GLBTQ people, prisoners or ex-felons, the poor, the rich, Democrats, Republicans, heck, even the “other” church folk in your area… there is no end of “others” whom you may deeply and passionately disagree with. You might even be fully correct in your assessment of their mistakes, flaws, sins. It may be quite understandable and sensible that you are nearly sick in the pit of your gut as to how they speak, treat others, live out their sins, how destructive their core beliefs, etc.. Understood!

So what sort of reflection of Jesus are we to them if on -our- part, we truly want only to avoid them and take the attitude, for example, the Jews had toward Samaritans (according to Jesus)? The Samaritans WERE messed up -but not beyond the redemptive love of God.

Hear me well, I love Israel, pray for the peace of Jerusalem but I can say I feel and do the same for Palestinians as a people. Both need the saving grace of God in Christ. Both.

We can argue- “Hey, Israel are the people of God!!” and I fully agree… but “ALL have sinned and fallen short”. Indeed we have. I do not see strong enough evidence in scripture to have faith in the universalism doctrine which concludes all will be saved, Jewish nor gentile.

WHOM among those of us who trust in Jesus are willing to change in our own hearts, behaviors, relationships to the extent “the other” doesn’t sense being shut out, rejected, judged as “beyond the reach of God the Holy Spirit”?

I am not advocating tacit agreement, rather relationship based on God’s love for your neighbor.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

It is no cake-walk, but perhaps we need to demonstrate God’s love toward those who are still sinners by doing a little dying of our own. Fear and anger are two major hurdles we must give up to gain relationships that can change hearts, choices and the very history we are part of!

Are there personal crosses in such love? Is loving one’s neighbor, even enemies commanded by Jesus Christ? Yes and yes. Dealing with it is exactly what I am talking about.

Is this easy, a cake-walk? Not even! I wrestle with it myself, but it seems quite clear from His Word what we as Christ-followers are called to live out in this world. Fear and anger are certainly not fruits of the Spirit!

Things to consider, and as always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn